When Google bought music streaming service Songza back in July, we speculated that the main reason was Songza’s expertise in creating handcrafted playlists and matching them with the moment of the day, the user’s location, and past activity.
Fast forward a few months, and Google announced the first result of Songza’s integration – “expert curated” playlists are now available to Play Music subscribers in the US and Canada on Android, the web, and iOS.
Unsurprisingly, Google makes a big deal of the playlists being assembled and curated by real people, as opposed to algorithms. Google/Songza employed “dozens of DJs, musicians, music critics and ethnomusicologists” to create the perfect tunes for busy mornings, a late night studying session, or an evening jog. Some examples of actual playlists are “Waking Up Happy,” “Drinking Gourmet Coffee” or “Driving.” If you used Songza or Spotify, it’s not something new, but it’s a welcome addition that music explorers will definitely appreciate.
The other big change in the latest update (coming to all users across the world) is a redesigned Listen Now page, with a healthy dose of Material design. You get nice, large cards for your playlists and recent listens, and everything is doused in bold orange.
The update to Play Music 5.7 is now rolling out to all users, but remember that the availability of the new playlists is sadly limited to North America for now. Google did not say if and when the feature would hit the rest of the world. If you can’t wait to test it out, the updated apk is available from Gapps Early.