Google Music (now officially known as Play Music) is an incredible product. Google allows you to upload your personal music collection to their servers and stream it from your web browser or any Android device absolutely free! The only bummer is that Google has overlooked an important feature: the ability to upload music purchased outside of the Google Play Store to your Google Music account from your smartphone. Naturally, Google is trying to push users to purchase their music from Google Play, but what if you want to buy your music from the Amazon MP3 store, or download it using some other quasi-legal method (shame, shame).
If your looking to upload music from your Android device, (or even your non-Android device…gasp!), you’ve come to the right place. Jump past the break to learn how!
You will need a computer of any kind for this workaround to function properly. Got one? Good! We’ll break up our guide into two parts: Part 1: Setting Up Your Computer, and Part 2: Setting Up Your Phone
Setting Up Your Computer
Step 1: If you don’t already have it, download and install Dropbox on your computer (this will entail creating a free account, and they will give you 2GB of free storage for life).
Step 2: Once Dropbox is installed, create a folder within Dropbox called “Google Music from Phone” or something that will make it easy to identify later.
Step 3: Once you’ve got your folder created inside Dropbox, use your web browser to navigate to Google Music. If you don’t already have a Google Music account set up, do that now (it’s free).
Step 4: In the upper right hand corner of your Google Music page, click “Upload Music”. This will prompt you to download Google’s “Music Manager”.
Step 5: Once the download completes, double click the file and let it install on your computer. After it’s installed, it’ll ask you to log in using your Google account. Do that, and then select “upload songs to Google Play”.
Step 6: It’ll ask you where you keep your music collection. Select “other folders” (it’s the last option), then “add folder”. When the window pops up, navigate to your newly created “Google Music from Phone” folder (that should be in your Dropbox) and select it. Click next.
Step 7: This is very important! After you select your “Google Music from Phone” folder as the place that you want Google Music to upload from, the Google Music Manager will ask you: “Do you want to automatically upload songs that you add to your selected folders in the future?” YOU MUST CLICK YES!
Ok, your computer is set up and we’re ready to move onto part 2.
Setting Up Your Phone
Step 1: Download the Dropbox mobile application for your smartphone platform (hopefully Android!) and log-in.
Step 2: Download Astro file manager and link it to your Dropbox account.
Step 3: Using Astro file explorer, navigate to the folder where your downloaded music is stored and use the “copy” function to copy the folders that you want uploaded to Google Music.
Step 4: In Astro, click the Dropbox icon, find your “Google Music from Phone” folder, open it, and paste your folders there. (What this does is upload your music files from your phone into the Dropbox folder on you computer, where Google Manager will find them and automatically upload them to your Google Music account! Give it a few minutes and your music will all be stored on Google’s servers.)
Step 5: If you haven’t already, download the Google Music app, select your account, and enjoy streaming your new music from your phone! All done! Good job!
Hopefully Google will add this feature to their mobile apps in the future, but for now, you just hacked the system! Congratulations!
Disclaimer: This will work with Google Drive or any other like service as long as autosyncing is on.
Disclaimer 2: This method will also work with iOS, Windows, and BlackBerry smartphones and tablets