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Google Music Finally Enables Browser Uploads through Chrome

Google Music

Chromebooks Can Now Upload to Google Music

Google Music has finally enabled browser-based music uploads through Chrome, something Chromebook owners have been holding out for.

The feature is currently available as an opt-in through the ‘Labs‘ section of the music streaming service, which lets users upload 20,000 tracks for anywhere-access for free.

While the search giant offers a dedicated desktop upload tool on Mac, Windows and Linux called ‘Google Music Manager’, users of its cloud-based OS were, until now, unable to add local music files to Google Music.

As previously expected, browser-based uploading to Google Music has been introduced. The feature is in testing so might not be perfectly formed just yet. The feature set is fairly comprehensive already though, supporting  drag and drop MP3 upload; option to set up ‘watched’ folders; and features a neat new mini desktop player.

Upload Music to Google Play Music through Chrome

The following instructions apply to anyone using Chrome on Windows, mac and or Linux; or Chrome OS users on an intel-based device. Annoyingly, this feature is not yet supported on ARM-based Chromebooks.

To get started head over to the Google Music website. Once loaded (you may need to sign-in first) press the cog-shaped settings icon and select ‘Labs‘ from the menu.

At the top of the page that loads you’ll see an entry headed ‘Google Play Music for Chrome’. To the side of this listing sit two settings: ‘Enabled’ and ‘Disabled’.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 18.26.58

Click the circle next to Enabled. Google will then prompt you to install an application.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 18.27.40

Assuming you’re okay with the permissions required, hit ‘Add’ to install it. It’s important to note that, at present, the app is required to use browser uploading.

Next, you’ll be walked through setting up music folders that Google Music can monitor for new items and upload them automatically in the background.

While this feature will be useful on Windows and Mac, where you’re more likely to have an expansive local iTunes library, on a Chromebook you may find this step a bit pointless. No worries, you can proceed through without setting up a folder should you wish. And don’t worry, you can remove, add or amend folders at a later date through the Settings pane.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 18.28.36

After all of that is done you’ll see a new ‘Upload’ button in the toolbar of Google Music. Clicking this will open the following screen, on which .mp3 (and other supported) files can be dropped for instant uploading.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 18.42.16

The Mini Player

You’ll also notice that after installing the Chrome App a new mini-player window opened. You can use this to pause and skip tracks or issue thumbs up or thumbs down to the song playing while doing something else. One neat feature: click the ‘die’ icon in the middle and generate an ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ playlist based on your listening habits.

It’s not quite the full-blown Chrome app many of us were hoping for, but it augments the service wonderfully. One drawback is that Google Music has to remain open in a tab for it to work; it would be nice for the mini-player to maintain the session independently. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 18.32.07

  • GTJ

    This makes my chromebook so much more useful and is great for moving music across devices to my phone/tablet.

  • Lou G

    This makes my chromebook able to be used as a full time machine.

  • Rickey Shortt


  • miri

    Great news! Pity the player isn’t a panel window (docked to the left of the shelf, always on top) like CrOS’s built-in player.

    • Agreed. I was a bit disappointed by that myself.

      • Boothy

        Yeah, it doesn’t feel quite finished yet.
        But, I’m sure it will be polished up in the future :)

  • Kenny Strawn

    Good. Now I can get everything copied from iTunes (thanks to iOS) over to Google Play…

  • Alex Watts

    Absolute hero. Allister! Great record.

  • adhib97

    It’s not letting me install the app. Is it only released in the US or something?

    • Daniel Heinze

      Same here … Can’t install the app. Always gettin an “Error – no file” notification in the download bar. Non US, Samsung Chromebook 1.

      • DJHarrington

        Same Here .. and yes, I am using a Samsung Chromebook 1 in the UK

        • Andy Burne

          Been able to install on my desktop in the UK.

      • adhib97

        Yeah I’m running the Samsung ARM Chromebook, maybe it’s not available for the ARM chromebook

  • FirstLine

    Wow, finally. I’ve been playing around with it and it’s pretty good. Also works great on Firefox and MetroIE. Only thing I could notice, since I run Windows at 125% DPI, is the lack of icons scaling. It’s blurry. Other than that, it’s very usable. There’s even desktop notifications. Good job Google.

  • Does music downloaded through the app count towards the two-twime download limit?

    • mrzoink

      Uploading and downloading aren’t the same thing…

      • Yeah, that’s why I said “downloaded” and not “uploaded.”

        I’m talking about the new download interface in the Chrome app. It has no mention of a download limit, but I’d rather not take my chances. Do you know if individual songs and albums can be downloaded through the new Chrome app more than two times each?

        • mrzoink

          Sorry about that. I didn’t notice the change in downloading. I just uploaded a test file and then used the interface to download it four times, so it looks like the limit has been lifted!

  • moe

    just make an app to all of that

  • Will not work on ARM based chromebooks

  • Allen

    Have any ARM users been able to download the app?

    • slashdot_joe

      I have tried, but I only get the “Error – No File” message, even if I try to download from the Chrome Web Store (U.S.). However, I was able to download it on my Linux x64 desktop, so I located the unpacked extension and loaded it onto my Chromebook. It does complain about not being on the Dev channel, and there were some x64-specific .nexe’s, but it still ran fine. Hope it helps! :)

    • slashdot_joe

      EDIT: Uploading isn’t working (assuming that has to do with the .nexe’s :)

      • Allen

        Dang that sucks, nice thinking though. Hopefully they’ll have it working for us in the next week or so.

    • Ryan

      I also get the message “error – no file” when trying to install to chrome.

    • Wally Arms

      Definitely not working on my ARM device (Samsung Chromebook). I have had good success with my devices w/ Intel processors running the beta channel.

  • Andri Agassi

    Does the Play Music tab need to be open for auto-upload?

    • 6ame9o

      On my Chromebook it has to be open, otherwise I’m not logged in and I can’t do anything with the app.

  • Nick

    Ok it is just not working on my hp chromebook 11. I get the issue failed no file.

  • Daryl

    Small correction: there is no Google Music Manager for desktop Linux as mentioned. It is only available for Windows and Mac.

    • Wally Arms

      There are .deb and .rpm versions of Google Music Manager (beta) available for Linux.

      • Jeremy

        True, but that’s hardly worth mentioning since, in my experience, they don’t work…

        • Wally Arms

          64 bit .deb version works well on Ubuntu 13.10

  • Travis Halfman

    I’m frustrated! I have the Asus Chromebox (intel) and I still can’t get this to work. The mini player extention installs and opens properly, but the window says “The use mini player, you must sign in on the web.” Below that, it says, “Signed in as thalfman…” Clicking the ‘Sign In’ button opens a new tab with the Google Play Music website, but I’M ALREADY SIGNED IN!

    • Wally Arms

      It’s a little goofy – just open the full browser version of Google Play Music first (and select your music from there). The mini player will let you control it after that. Hopefully we will see improvements but the mini player apparently really only serves (right now) to let you navigate away from the main Google Play Music Window after you start some music playing (unless you want to use the “I’m feeling lucky” option).

      • Travis Halfman

        This didn’t work either. Something’s amiss here.

        • Wally Arms

          Travis which version of Chrome OS are you running on your Chromebox? I have the same machine (the new Asus Chromebox) running on beta channel.

          • Travis Halfman

            I’m at: Google Chrome33.0.1750.58 (Official Build 247552) Platform5116.53.1 (Official Build) stable-channel panther

            How do you get to the beta channel?

    • Rickey Shortt

      I had the same problem too. You might try this – it seems to have worked for me after a couple of tries. Leave the new lab enabled, but open your app launcher. If the new app is there, right click on oi and uninstall it. Then reboot your device.Open Play Music in a new browser tab and click the Add Music button which will prompt you to install the app again. If you’re lucky, that may do the trick…

      • Travis Halfman

        Just tried it and no go.

        • Rickey Shortt

          I can’t imagine what difference this could really make, so I didn’t mention it. Nevertheless, in addition to removing the mini player from the app launcher, I also removed the regular Play Music app from the launcher too when I did this process. Maybe it’s worth a try – I don’t know. Based on the comments, this thing definitely still has some bugs, at least in Chrome OS, that will hopefully be addressed soon. When I first saw it was available, I installed it on the old Windows xp machine they have me using at work with no trouble at all. Then I got home and tried to put it on my Chromebox, and I had problems…

          • Rickey Shortt

            Oh, after rebooting, I also opened Play Music on my Chromebox from a bookmark, rather than by re-installing the shortcut to the app launcher…

          • Travis Halfman

            Success! I followed all your tips above and it worked! Thanks a million. Oh, since you seem to know what you’re talking about (grin), maybe you can help with one more oddity: My password is never recognized the first time I type it in at the login screen. I’m mean NEVER. I now just type gibberish to get the error, then enter the password and it takes it the second time no problem.

          • Wally Arms

            I see the same problem on the Asus Chromebox – the first “keystroke” on the login window is never recognized. I have to hit the spacebar (or any key) and then type my password. I do not see this issue on my Chromebooks.

          • Rickey Shortt

            Not sure about your other problem. I have not had that issue at all with my Chromebox so far.

  • Boothy

    Has anyone else noticed on ChromeOS, drag and drop not working, but selecting the files from your computer does?

    • Wally Arms

      Drag and drop for files works on my system – but drag and drop for folders does not.

      • Boothy

        I can’t get it to monitor folders at all, won’t even select it.
        Drag and drop (files) doesn’t upload, but when you select files through the app, it processes the ones you’ve already dragged in (doubles up).
        Sure it’ll be sorted for the proper roll out.

        • Wally Arms

          Definitely quirky :-) I initially could not get it to save the “monitor folder” settings – but that is working now. I don’t know how often it checks the folder for new music, but it checks when Google music opens – and uploads new music. It seems that I do have to restart Google Music to see the newly uploaded music however. My music folder is currently in Downloads – I am going to move it to Google Drive and see what happens.

          • Wally Arms

            No option to choose a Google Drive folder. It seems that you can only select a folder that already has music files in it.

          • It currently scans every fifteen minutes. Current Chrome beta allows the Chrome App to notice immediately when new files are added to the folders, IIRC.

  • Wally Arms

    I like the mini player – puts me in mind of the iTunes mini player. Nice to have open while I am listening to music and working in other windows but not so useful “by itself”. Like I said – I like it, but I can see that its current limitations could be frustrating to some users.

  • BBB

    I dont even have the option to enable the upload music lab? And I tried downloading the from the direct link in the comments, the mini player keeps telling me to log in

  • chaybee

    Any word when this will be available for the Samsung Chromebooks?

  • Brian Kaeter

    Mini Player doesn’t work on my HP 11.

  • neil4reil

    I don’t understand. I’m on a HP Chromebook 11, and I don’t have the option at all to upload music via drag and drop. It still takes me to the “Download Music Manager” page, where it gives me a few different Linux builds. Is there something I’m doing wrong, or is this not available yet on the CB11?

  • alexo53

    Does not even have an option on the TOSHIBA

  • doro

    why when i close the website tab of google music its ask me in the mini player to sign in???
    i just want to listen when chrome is closed

    • Rickey Shortt

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way – at least not yet. You have to have Google Play Music opened in a tab or window for the mini player to work. Still better than not having it at all because you can minimize the window or keep the tab in the background and still use the mini player to control your music without leaving whatever you are working on.

  • Chaz

    C’mon, where is this for Samsung Chromebooks?!

  • Chromebook users: Thanks for your interest in Google Play Music for Chrome. The new app does not officially support Chromebooks at this time, but the team is working hard to make it happen.

    • That doc needs to be updated. I’ve filed a bug. Thanks!

  • Oat

    Weird article – option doesn’t exist for core users – with Chromebooks!

  • ryan

    Maybe one day… (HP 11 aka ARM)

  • Ken

    Seriously why have an app on chromebook, that might I add, come with the laptop to begin with… That doesn’t work. I have had this thing for over a year now and Google Music Player still refuses to let me play my music or upload it. Fix it please!!!

  • Bram Kneppers

    Check this: I just uploaded it on my Google Drive, using my Samsung Chromebook. It’s very limited and may not have the same handy features as Play Music but Does give you the ability to upload and play your music files from a cloud location. This might be a solution for some of you guys ;)

  • thalloran

    I’ve been “processing music” for two days. Is that normal? Is there a way to see the progress?

    • Rickey Shortt

      I’ve been seeing that a lot too. I think it is a bug. Probably not a big problem on a desktop, but I don’t know if that might be an unnecessary power drain on a laptop. I haven’t noticed it causing any other problems though.

      • Sebster

        I’ve noticed that some mp3, even if they play fine, will not upload. The Music Manager app reports these has having an incorrect mp3 format. The browsed upload is just not as polished as to report this, I guess.

  • I feel like all this happened by itself for me, unless I just forgot that I’d done it. I changed to Android this year and slowly realised (through searching, with a song I own popping up as a suggestion sometimes) that my music library on my Chromebook appeared to be on my phone or in the cloud somehow.

  • Nikolaz

    Google has been promising for 2 years to “add this for Chromebook users”.
    At this rate the feature will come in 2017 when Chromebooks are a relic.

    • Rickey Shortt

      This has been available on Chromebooks for several months now…I use it regularly.

    • FYI, the Chrome app has worked on x86-based chromebooks since it was introduced (which was not quite a year ago). The news is that it now also works on ARM-based chromebooks as well. Not sure where your “2 years” figure is coming from.

  • ian143

    Followed all the directions and there is no “Google Play Music for Chrome” anywhere to be found. Is this till not available for Chromebooks?

    • Rickey Shortt

      It is most definitely there, and it definitely works in Chrome OS – sometimes… I’ve been using it for months, though it has been broken a couple times and Google had to fix it. Follow the instructions in the article, and here is the link for the app in the Chrome Store:

      • ian143

        There is nothing on my Chromebook screen that says that. I followed your link and all the others I could find I wish I could attach a screen shot to show.

        • Rickey Shortt

          Are you saying the link to the app in the Chrome Store doesn’t work? I just checked it and it did. If the link did work for you, did you install the app? Finally, are you using a Chromebook with an ARM processor instead of an Intel? If so, it still may not work for you – though I don’t know for sure that hasn’t been fixed. Or are you saying that the option to enable it in labs isn’t there? I no longer see it on mine either, but the app from the Chrome Store still works for the mini player and uploading.

          • ian143

            Found an app to tell me what it had. It says:
            Model – Samsung ExynoS5 (Flattened Device Tree)
            Architecture – ARM v7l
            The option to enable in in labs is nowhere to be found (on my screen), when I tried the app from the store, and I wanted to upload my music it kept telling me that I have to download the “music manager” which is coded in a format my chromebook does not support (I know because I downloaded all of them and nothing worked) So yes the app itself works, but uploading music does not which renders the app worthless to me. Any suggestions other than buying a Mac or PC?

          • Rickey Shortt

            Someone else may know more, but I can only assume that it still doesn’t work with ARM processors then. It does work on Chrome OS devices with Intel processors, like the Acer C720 and my Asus Chromebox.

    • Installing the app directly from the chrome web store (as Rickey Shortt says) will work, but from the Google Play Music page, you can also click on the little arrow in the bottom right corner of the page OR click the Add Music button near the top-right corner. Clicking either of those without the Chrome App installed should take you through a setup wizard. If you aren’t seeing those buttons on your chromebook, something is wrong. Reply to me and I’ll see if I can figure out what is going on. (I run the engineering team at google that builds the Chrome App).

      • ian143

        Thanks for taking time to reply but I got rid of the Chromebook, I don’t know if it was the ARM processor or what, but I finally got fed up with it constantly dropping my WiFi signal when everything else like my cell phone never dropped connection, as well as the wonky issues with things like Google Play Music. Can’t say I will ever give that thing another chance, total waste of money. But thank you again for trying.

  • Shaunda Davis

    I did on my other computer but it’s not on my chromebook… Maybe it’s not available for all chromebooks.

  • Whoa Nellie

    so not available for ARM Chromebooks? WHHYYYY??? (falls on the floor dramatically). I followed the link above and I do not get the option for uploading AND …. I have an ARM Chromebook. Lucky. Me. Guess I’ll wait until I get home to do my uploading. Sigh.

  • noodle

    I need help downloading the google play music extension for my computer. I keep clicking the add button when it pops up and it says “checking”, but after that it just crashes and tells me to reload. About 3-4 times chrome itself has crashed when I tried downloading this extension. But i need it to add music to my phone, so can anyone tell me how to fix this and/or give me any other apps or extensions that will let me add music on my computer in a cloud sort of way (if that makes sense)?

  • Cathal O’Neill

    the option to enable google play music for chrome does not appear in labs when I try to do it. Is this only an option for certain chromebooks or..?

  • Peter Robins
  • To the author: Hi, and thanks for the article! I run the engineering team at google that builds the Chrome App and a few other things.

    I’m mystified by the instructions in the article about using the Labs feature to enable/disable the Chrome App – that lab was removed many months ago, and there shouldn’t be any way for a user to see it anymore. Did you reuse old screen shots? Because if you aren’t, I’d like to know how you are seeing that obsolete UI.

    The easiest way to install the Chrome App is to open the Google Play Music web page and click either the little arrow in the bottom right corner of the page OR the Add Music button near the top-right corner. Clicking either of those without the Chrome App installed should take you through a setup wizard.

  • Sameera Madushan

    hi fs

  • fionna richards

    It keeps saying processing music, it was like that overnight, woke up and it was still saying processing music. it is only one song that i tried adding, i dont think it takes that long to add one song. any suggestion?

    • Tash Elliott

      I’m having the same issue. I have a toshiba chromebook 2 and i’m finding it literally impossible to upload to google play music.

  • Jess Styles

    Yeah, but it’s only available on certain countries. Would be lovely if everyone could have access though. So much for android being loved by everyone.