Unofficial Google Play Music & YouTube Music Desktop Player


youtube-music-google-play-music

You might have heard about YouTube Music, Google’s latest effort at creating a music streaming serviceable to rival Spotify and Apple Music.

Anyone with a Google account can search for and listen to music on new service through their web browser, just like regular YouTube.

But there’s a flaw: Google doesn’t provide a YouTube Music app for the desktop, not on Windows, not on macOS and not on Linux — something that its bigger, badder, and far better-known competitors do.

Google Play Music Desktop Player

Google Play Music Desktop Player is an unofficial desktop client for Google Play Music built using Electron.

The app is both open source and wildly popular. It has been downloaded over 3 million downloads since launching a few years back.

youtube-music-desktop-player1

Google Play Music Desktop Player also boasts of being more “resource efficient” than running Google Play Music in a regular browser tab (though being an Electron app it’s not going to be super lightweight).

It’s fully customizable, supports last.fm scrobbling (always a win with me) and apparently features a built-in equalizer for fidelity fans to fine-tune (though I haven’t found it).

Naturally, you do need a Google account to use the player (and have some tracks uploaded to your online library to use the Google Play Music side).

Other features include:

  • Supports media keys (play, pause, stop, next, previous)
  • last.fm scrobbling
  • Desktop notifications on track change
  • A simplistic mini player
  • MPRIS integration
  • Customizable Dark theme
  • Smooth scrolling and overlay scrollbars for a nicer User Experience
  • HTML5 Audio
  • Minimize to the taskbar for background music playing
  • Customizable shortcuts
  • Choose your audio output device from within the player
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And the latest version adds support for YouTube Music.

Google Play Music Desktop Player: YouTube Music Support

If you want to enjoy Google’s streaming service without being stuck inside a browser, you should certainly check it out.

Google Play Music Desktop Player, version 4.6.0 adds initial support for YouTube Music (though as explained in the release announcement, the emphasis is very much on the ‘initial’ here).

By selecting the YouTube Music backend from the tray menu you, I and anyone else who wants to can listen to music on YouTube without being stuck inside a browser, and benefit from desktop integration, including notifications and sound menu support:

sound menu support-google-play-music

Although there are some limitations with the YouTube backend (like no theme support or mini-player) the integration works well enough.

The update also features a bump to the Electron framework, as well as various minor miscellaneous bug fixes.

Download Google Play Music Desktop Player

You can download the latest version of Google Play Music Desktop Player direct from Github, where it’s available for Windows, macOS and Linux systems:

Download Google Play Music Desktop Player

Google Play Music Desktop Player is also available to install from Flathub, the Flatpak app store — though, as of writing, the latest version has not been uploaded:

GPMDP on Flathub

While YouTube Music and Google Play Music are two great streaming services, they suffer greatly from the lack of a desktop client when pitted against the likes of Spotify. You can’t configure much at all per machine, for example. If you dislike the current state of either service, Give Google Play Music Desktop Player a try. It may well be exactly what you’re looking for.

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Sources: Reddit, XDA Developers &  OMG Ubuntu

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