Google Play Music gets mood-matching functionality in latest update

Google has given its Play Music service a fresh lick of paint and woven in some machine learning to make its playlists a whole lot more contextual. 

Those who load up the app this week will see a big difference. For a start, it looks a lot nicer, with a brand-new home screen offering up music it thinks you will like front and center. But it’s underneath that things have gotten interesting. 

Playlists are now much more contextual. Much like how Google Now offers up relevant information based on your whereabouts, your likes, the time of day etc, Play Music’s playlists now use similar smarts. 

You will get personalised music based on where you are and what you are doing. So, if you are near an airport, it’s likely that Flying Stress Free playlist will pop up. If you are going to the gym, then a workout playlist will appear... just don't ask us what happens when you are close to a toilet.

Rise of the machines

Given Google already has all this information thanks to Google Maps, it makes sense that it has started using it this way for Play Music. Of course, if you don’t what your music app to know where you are then you can opt out of having contextual playlists pop up.

Google has also bolstered Play Music's offline caching and, if you want it, will automatically create an offline playlist based on your recent listening habits. So, if you are away from data you will still have music to listen to.

The revamped Google Play Music coincides with the launch of Amazon Music Unlimited in the UK, which is using the power of Alexa to help users find the music they want that bit easier. 

Both pretty much confirm that the machines have won, folks. The machines have won.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.