Ask LH: Can I Store All My Music In The Cloud And Play It From My Phone?

Ask LH: Can I Store All My Music In The Cloud And Play It From My Phone?

Hi Lifehacker, I’m a Spotify premium user but I’m starting to think that I might stop my subscription since I keep listening to the same music I already own. Do you know how I can upload my music (about 80GB) to Google Drive and access it from my phone or desktop? Thanks, Shania Twain

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Dear Shania,

Accessing your music library via Google Drive is easy enough to do. The first step is to boost your Google Drive storage allowance from the standard 15GB. Adding 100GB will set you back $1.99 per month which works out to under $25 a year. Once that’s done, rip/copy your music into your newly bolstered Dropbox account. (It’s obviously better to do this via desktop or WiFi to avoid mobile data costs.)

All you need now is a mobile music player that is capable of accessing Google Drive files. One of the most popular options is Beat (not to be confused with Dr. Dre’s headphone company). This is an Android app that can stream music from a range of cloud storage services including SkyDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox. Naturally, it can also stream any music stored locally on your phone.

The best thing about Beat is probably the user interface: it boasts floating, slide-out controls that allow you to pause, play and select tracks without leaving the app you’re in. It also comes with an in-built software equaliser with a selection of presets and manual controls. You can customise your playlists from inside the app or simply set it to shuffle.

You can download Beat For Android free from Google Play. Once installed, simply set a root path to where your tunes are stored.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    • Yeah, using the service that’s actually designed for music storage and playback (and also includes the best elements of Spotify if you’re willing to pay a monthly subscription) rather than relying on third party apps does seem like a more sensible option…

      • You also missed the obvious point that Google Play Music is not yet available in all the countries that have Drive. In many countries, Google Play is just an app store. No music, movies, or books.

  • “Google Play Music” is the standard app that comes with Android now and it works this way, all you need to do is download the sync program onto your comp.

  • How much does this magical connection cost? In dollars, and in battery life?
    What happens if you are somewhere out of range? Or the server has a meltdown? Or “loses” your music?

    • A couple of dollars a month, and you run the same risks with the device holding your media at home suffering a failure (depending on how robust your backup process is). Effectively the suggested methods provide a bit of protection against meltdowns and range issues (Google play let’s you save a local copy to your device if you want to if you’re planning a trip somewhere where data connections may problem).

      It’s free up to 20,000 songs and there’s a cost associated if you want more songs than this. The article suggested the cost to increase space via Google drive (which was the main service they covered).

      At the end of the day, they can answer the questions the person has asked, readers can comment on other options but it’s up to the individual to still determine whewhether the suggestions are right for their purposes. That means doing their own research and checking prices and availability. There is always a multitude of ways to approach the same issue. What’s right and of concern for you differs for other people.

    • Are you talking about internet? Well then about the same as it would if you used Spotify! Except that with Google Play Music you can choose to save music offline onto your phone / tablet while you’re at home on wifi so you don’t have to use your 4G at all.

  • You guys are right with Google Play… but there is a catch: there is a limit of 20K songs that you can upload… And when you have a large collection, even if 20K looks like a huge number, believe me, it is not… And that limit cannot be removed at this point.

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