Google Play Music for Android allows you to save your music offline, but only by the album, song, or playlist. Maybe you’ve got a phone with 32GB of storage or a nice 64GB microSD card, and you want to keep all of your music locally to avoid streaming it over your data connection.
Do you really want to go through song by song or album by album and download all your music? Of course not. Thankfully, there’s a quicker way.
Getting All Your Music Offline
Play Music is the best music player for Android, so you’d think there would be an easier way to do this. A “download all music” button in the Android app would be helpful, but it doesn’t exist. For this method, you’re going to need to go to music.google.com on your computer.
The first step is to go to My Library, located in the bar to the left. It will bring you to the Artists panel, but you want to navigate to the Songs panel. From there, select the first song in your library by clicking on it. Then scroll all the way down to the bottom and, while holding Shift, click on the last song in your collection. This should select the first song, last song, and everything in between — your whole collection.
After you have everything selected, a grey bar will appear along the top. Press the three dot menu button, select Add to playlist, and select New Playlist. You can name this playlist whatever you want, and then create it.
With your entire music collection now in a single playlist, open up the Google Play Music app on your Android device. Tap the headphones in the upper left to access to menu on the left side and select Playlists. Under the Playlists header it should say “All Music”. If it says “On Device” instead, tap on it and change that.
Then, scroll down until you find your previously created playlist, and click on it.
On this screen, there will be grey pin icon just above the title of the playlist. Tap it once, and it will turn white and slowly turn orange. Once it turns completely orange, the music is downloaded onto your device. It will also create a persistent notification that will show you what percentage of your songs have been downloaded so far, and you can view downloads in the Download Queue under the Settings menu.
Be aware, however, that downloading large amounts of music to your phone can be very data intensive, so it is definitely recommended to connect to Wi-Fi before doing this. You may also want to go into the Android app’s settings and check the “Download via Wi-Fi only” box to ensure it doesn’t use any of your mobile data.
Also, it should be noted that adding any additional music to your collection after completing this process will require you to download it to your device. To add large amounts music, you can repeat the playlist option, but for smaller additions, you can download them by the album to make it easier and quicker.
Accessing Your Music
If you just want to play your music offline using the Play Music app for Android, you can stop here. This section will cover how to retrieve the actual mp3 files so that you can take them and do whatever you want with them.
Why do that? Because it’s your music that you uploaded, and for some reason, Google only allows each song to be downloaded to your computer twice. What happens if you pass that limit? You can no longer download any of your music. But downloading the files to your Android device, which doesn’t have a limit, and then extracting the files, gets around that little restriction.
Keep in mind, you’ll need to be rooted to do this, but rooting is simple with our complete Android rooting guide. Once you’ve got a rooted device, you can get started.
Step one is to download a file manager with root permissions; my personal favorite is Root Browser. It is full-featured, but supported by ads that run along the bottom of the app. For our purposes, it will work perfectly.
Open it up, scroll down, and select “data”.
From there, scroll down and select “com.google.android.music”, then select “files”.
Your final selection will be “music”; under here, you’ll find all of your downloaded mp3s. They will be numbered and won’t have names, making it hard to know which song is which, but at least they’re there. Copy and paste them using Root Browser to put your music anywhere else on your phone or on an external microSD card.
This will work great as a last ditch effort to retrieve your music if you’ve used up your two downloads, or it can just be used to quickly download all your music for offline use.
To get the most out of Play Music, you should also check out All Access to get unlimited music for just $9.99 a month. Or you could try Amazon Music Unlimited (download for Android), which comes included with your Amazon Prime subscription and otherwise starts at $3.99 per month.
Was this helpful for getting all your music offline? Any other tips for Play Music you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.