Google Play Music finally gets caching to SD card, on KitKat

The updated Google Play Music app is now rolling out through the Play Store with some new features, including the much requested ability to cache music to an external SD card.

Google Play Music, the music store player app for Android has been updated today with the ability to store downloaded music on an external SD card and better link sharing options to social networks and other apps. In addition to these, Play Music now lets users shuffle an individual artist's music in All Access, which is Google's Spotify-like music streaming service launched earlier in the year. The app also features minor UI tweaks in the notification area.

Ever since the launch of Google Play Music, users have complained about the lack of support for external SD card caching. Many Android devices which have limited internal storage cannot make good use of Google's music service due to the restriction, now this is expected to change with the new update.

Unfortunately, the new update only supports the SD card feature on Android 4.4 KitKat which hasn't been widely available as of yet, and some older phones are receiving experimental support. The Nexus phones and tablets are the only devices in the market right now which have KitKat on them, but they do not have expandable storage which makes the update even more disappointing.

Users who would like to take advantage of this update before the phased roll-out hits their devices can head to Droid-Life and grab the APK.

Source: Droid-Life via 9to5Google | Image via Droid-Life

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13 Comments

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It's not Kitkat only, on my Xperia (4.2) I now have the option to save music on my SD instead of on the internal memory. It's right in the settings of the Play Music app.

wait, does this mean music "kept on device" from google music is also downloaded to that location? i have 20 gb free and it says not enouigh space, can't download music...

D. FiB3R said,
Now they just need to start releasing hardware with SD card slots.

Indeed - speaking cynically most manufacturers seem to have, quite deliberately, stopped doing this to force people to buy the higher memory capacity models.

I am lucky enough to have unlimited data on 3 where a small storage space on my Nexus 5 isn't really an issue. 40+ gb of music on Google Music and I manage to stream quite well even when out on a run. I have videos on Drive and they also work well.

Of course if I ever went anywhere where the 3G was poor it would be an issue but so far its been great.

Chicane-UK said,

Indeed - speaking cynically most manufacturers seem to have, quite deliberately, stopped doing this to force people to buy the higher memory capacity models.

It also heavily depends on the user as to if including an SD card slot is useful at all. Since Google made changes in Android (4.0+ I think, but couldn't be wrong) vastly limiting the usefulness of an SD card.

As it stands right now, without root and hacks, the SD card can only store pictures and music. Everything else will be shoved onto the Internal Storage without the ability to shift it over.

Since I don't store any music on my phone and next to no pictures I'd get no real benefit out of an SD card slot. The average user may get benefits, but become very confused as to why their 8GB phone with a 64GB SD card is complaining it is out of space when they have such a huge SD card.

Depicus said,
I am lucky enough to have unlimited data on 3 where a small storage space on my Nexus 5 isn't really an issue. 40+ gb of music on Google Music and I manage to stream quite well even when out on a run. I have videos on Drive and they also work well.

Of course if I ever went anywhere where the 3G was poor it would be an issue but so far its been great.

Streaming is less than ideal even if you have unlimited data. If you don't have signal you're out of luck plus streaming music uses a LOT more battery than playing it off of local storage.

mrp04 said,

Streaming is less than ideal even if you have unlimited data. If you don't have signal you're out of luck plus streaming music uses a LOT more battery than playing it off of local storage.

Agreed. I do actually only stream music on my device too (Spotify) but it does often catch me out, how regularly I find myself wanting to listen to music and finding myself in an area with terrible signal and like GPRS. Just too damn lazy to actually copy some MP3 albums over or synchronise some playlists in Spotify though so it's my own damn fault

Wait, does that actually mean that all music I cache locally in 4.3 is saved onto the phone's internal memory? Duh...

Point was I've just learnt that so far all the music I get is stored on my phone's internal memory. I was (apparently foolishly) assuming Google Music would store data (music) by default on my phone's memory card.