One of the great things advertised about Google Home is it can play any song you like on-demand, you just say “Okay Google, play [whatever song you fancy].”
Until recently, the problem has been that Google Home was able to do this only if you had linked a premium Google Play Music or Spotify account, both of which cost you £9.99 per month following a free trial.
However, in August 2017 Google added support for Deezer and Spotify Free. If you’re in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France or Germany you can now select these options within the Google Home app under Settings, Music, More music services.
The other problem with Google Home, until now, is that it did not support Bluetooth audio, which would allow you to play music direct from any Android device or iPhone. This has now been rectified, and if you open your Bluetooth settings on your phone or tablet you should now see your Google Home in the list of available devices.
These new additions really open up Google Home’s musical abilities, but if neither particularly take your fancy for streaming music over the device you can continue to use the old workarounds, as we outline below.
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1. Set up a playlist in Google Play Music
Google Play Music is a free app downloadable from the Google Play Store. Without a subscription you are able to purchase songs on a one-off basis, and you can also use it to manage audio saved on your phone or tablet’s internal storage.
Google Home will not find and play audio within Google Play Music without a subscription, but it will play your saved playlists. If you have a playlist called ‘Summer 2017’, for example, you say “Okay Google, Play Summer 2017.”
You can tell Google Home to pause or skip a song, but you have no further control over which songs in that playlist are played – you can’t choose a specific song within the playlist, for example.
To set up a playlist in Google Play Music open the app and find a song in your music library that you want to add to a playlist. Tap the three dots to the right of its entry and choose ‘Add to playlist’.
In the pop-up window click ‘New playlist’, then give it a name and description and decide whether you want it to be open to the public. Then click ‘Create Playlist’.
You can add new songs to your playlist in the same way – just make sure the correct playlist is selected when you choose ‘Add to playlist’.
2. Cast music
Although Google Home didn’t previously support Bluetooth, it did (and still does) support casting, which will be useful to you only if your phone or tablet also supports casting. If it does you may have a cast option in your drop-down notification bar, or you can select the cast button at the top of compatible apps.
Tap Cast, select your Google Home, then begin playing audio on your device. It should play on the Google Home.
3. Stream radio
Google Home lets you stream music from online radio services such as the BBC and Capital FM. Though you can’t control what you hear, you can listen to current popular music without paying for it. Just say “Okay Google, play [radio station name].”
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