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Enable HTML5 in Google Play Music for a Faster Experience

If you use Google’s online music service Google Play Music you may have noticed that it’s not the fastest or most responsive of ‘web apps’.

The cause of the ‘weight’ in the interface can be pinned firmly at the door of Adobe’s Flash, which Play Music users to stream back your music. Flash isn’t the lightest of web technologies, so using Play Music on a device with lower hardware specs, such as a first-generation Chromebook or Netbook, can make your whole system a slower.

Google Music APP Resource Usage

But there is a super quick fix: switch to the HTML5 version of Google Play Music.

How to Switch to HTML 5 in Google Play Music

Before we go any further I have to say that HTML5 Audio on Play Music is a ‘Google Labs’ project and shouldn’t be considered wholly stable just yet.  Personally I’ve yet to encounter any issue whilst using it, but just make sure you’re willing to accept the odd quirk before proceeding.

The first step is to open up Google Play Music in a new browser tab.

Once the main music page has loaded click the ‘Cog’ icon in the upper-right hand corner, selecting ‘Music Labs’ from the drop down menu it provides.

You’ll be taken to the Music Labs page. There are a handful of features here but the one we’re interested in is the ‘HTML5 Audio’ one.

Click the dot next to ‘Enabled’ so that it is selected.

Lastly hit the ‘Save Changes’ button to the top of the page, then refresh and head back to the main Google Music page.

If you had noticed a slow-down in performance when using the Flash-based version then you’ll instantly notice a difference.

  • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

    Maddening how Google require you to turn this on…. very unusual

    • Alex Luckett

      It’s a Google Labs project… not stable. Why would they enable it for everyone if it’s not ready for daily use?

      • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

        Google are trying to push HTML5?

        • ken147

          *is

        • Alex Luckett

          Yes, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to push non-stable software onto consumers.

  • AngusPearson

    IMHO you should have to turn flash on, not off. Can’t they default to HTML5 for modern browsers like Chrome(ium), Firefox and Safari?? (Haven’t checked Opera) – That would make much more sense.

    • http://cezz.co.uk/ Ceri May (@CezzBB)

      They probably will do this once the feature leaves Labs… Labs are experimental feature.

      • pawelkomarnicki

        I’m also kinda susprised when I disabled Flash entirely Music demanded Flash back ;)

  • iceman600

    its faster browsing my albums… =) now it doesnt lag scrolling (i have a ton of music btw)

  • David Metcalfe

    Nice to see you folks putting up how-to’s and all, but this should have been posted two months ago.

    • http://omgubuntu.co.uk/ Joey-Elijah Sneddon

      We weren’t around two months ago

      • David Metcalfe

        Who’s ‘we’? OMG Chrome has existed for almost a year now.

        • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

          Not in true posting form. For 8 months or so it was mostly a shell.

  • http://twitter.com/joshy88 Josh

    awesome

  • http://DigitalLip.com/ Ben Archuleta

    I love HTML5 audio. Its great to see more and more services implementing it.

  • http://linuxblogx6.wordpress.com/ Sergio Esaú Arámbula Durán

    Cool, the only problem with Google play music is the avalibility, I am from Mexico :(

    • neet

      you can get around that with with an IP proxy

  • William Turton

    Thank you so much!

  • Aaron Christopher Greene

    My Gplay music was playin’ super slow since last update so I searched & found the html5 deal was already activated. So I deactivated it & my action is just fine now!!

    • Dave Wagner

      That’s what I found too. With HTML5 enabled, my PC became somewhat sluggish.

  • Exe

    Nice, I turned it on and the whole play music stopped working. Even if I turn it off again, it doesn’t work at all in any browser.. I get errors like this:
    Uncaught Error: Error calling method on NPObject. listen_extended_b2b52c8b0662c265914c044480fa698eebf4c811__en_gb.js:626

  • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

    i enable the configuration of html5 but when i save the configuration, the configuration is disabled.
    i tried lots of time in different explorer.
    it save the other labs configuration, except the html5.

    • pawelkomarnicki

      This feature was disabled on some CHromebooks recently “becaus it didn’t work properly”, now it’s back at least for Samsung Chromebook on Beta channel :)