How to Make the Most Out of Google Play Music on Ubuntu Linux

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Google Play Music is Google's freemium service that lets users listen to any music they want to, that too from any device. Basically a competitor to iTunes, one of the best things about Play Music is that it works across Android, web, and even on iPhone and iPad (via web browser). Also, unlike other competing services, Google Play Music lets you save your purchased MP3s to your computer, burn them onto CDs and listen to them from any place you want. Thus, you can make legal copies of your own purchased music without having to worry about the copyright authorities having to show up at your door. This openness that Google Play Music brings to the table, has appealed to many Linux fans and FOSS supporters. What makes the service even more important is that there is no other major service that offers this much openness. If you are an Ubuntu user, you'd be glad to hear that there are more than one way to make the most of Google Play Music on your desktop.

Here are 4 ways in which you can turn your Ubuntu desktop into a Google-powered jukebox:

Web Browser

Google Play Music works best when it's used in the web browser. These days, many users spend most of their time browsing the web, checking their email, and reading cool tech sites (like ours). That's why, using Google Play Music on the web not only makes more sense, but also makes it more convenient. With the introduction of Chromebooks, the world is moving to a more browser-based environment. Google Play Music is Google's another effort of moving the user to the browser.

When you open the site, Google Play Music will automatically detect the speed of your Internet connection and adjust the bitrate according to the available bandwidth. So, if you are playing music on a fast connection, your music will be played at a high bitrate, that is 320Kbps.

To get you started, here are few of the main keyboard shortcuts:

*    Spacebar - Start or stop playing the selected song           
*    Right arrow - When a song is playing, play the next song in the list   
*    Left arrow - When a song is playing, play the previous song in the list   
*    Up arrow - Select the item above the current selected song       
*    Down arrow - Select the item below the current selected song       
*    Delete - Delete the currently selected song               

Listen to your own music collection from the cloud

Say all your music collection is on your laptop and you want to listen to it on your desktop. Instead of trying to figure out how to stream via a network, you can simply start uploading your music to the cloud. On Ubuntu, you can install Google Play Music Manager and then start uploading all your favorite music to your Google Play library. What's even more appealing is that Google lets you upload up to 20,000 songs to your library for free. Now, once you have all your music on the cloud, you can listen to it from any Ubuntu device for free.

Using Rhythmbox

If you don't like the web-based version, you can simply go native by installing a Rhythmbox plugin. This plugin, once installed, lets you listen to your Play Music library without having to open a browser. The plugin is still under heavy development so don't expect it to be stable. To install it, type in or paste the following commands in your terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nvbn-rm/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-gmusic python-dateutil python-requests python-validictory

Using Nuvola Player

Nuvola Player is a cloud-based music player that integrates seamlessly with the Ubuntu desktop. With support for services like Grooveshark, Spotify,, Amazon Cloud Player, and of course Google Play Music, the application is perfect for users who don't like using web-based apps. Nuvola like many desktop players comes with plugins that enable you to view lyrics, scrobble to, and even control your music using media keys. Overall, if you want to have a native Google Play Music experience, Nuvola is your best bet.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nuvola-player-builders/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nuvolaplayer