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Playback issues frustrate some Google Play Music users

Why it matters to you

Google Play Music is one of the world's leading music streaming platforms, so these issues could affect a large number of users.

Users on the Google Play Help Forum are reporting issues with playback in Google Play Music, specifically about songs that intermittently stop. The issue in question actually dates back to July of last year, but was unearthed again this week following a post on Reddit.

The problems seem to differ from one account to the next. Some users cite songs that stop playing just before the end. Others, like the first post on Google’s forum, describe being able to play several songs successfully before the fourth or fifth one cuts out during the first few seconds.

What’s more, the issues don’t seem to be constrained to a single device. That initial post references a Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo, and many others involve Pixel phones running the latest Android firmware. It also doesn’t seem to matter where the music is stored, be it locally or on Google’s streaming platform.

The attempted solutions are wide-ranging and don’t appear to be universally successful. Some have suggested rolling back to a previous version of the Google Play Music app, while others have fixed the bug by clearing the cache. One user even said the issue disappeared after upgrading his account to a 30-day free trial. Certain conditions, like Bluetooth streaming, have also been identified by some to exacerbate the problems; conversely, charging appears to prevent it, indicating power management issues.

These kinds of glitches are really the worst type of problem you can encounter on Android, in that they are platform-wide and seemingly don’t adhere to a set, consistent behavior. It’s challenging to develop a solution to a problem that affects a wide range of devices and presents in a myriad of ways.

Thankfully, the issue appears to be gaining visibility, increasing the likelihood that Google will have a fix out soon. If you’re affected by it, be sure to keep an eye out here as well as on that forum thread. You can also report your experience to the company via chat or phone.