You can now store 50,000 songs online with Google Play Music

Google just made its Play Music service a bit more appealing, even if you don’t use a Google Android phone. You can now upload 50,000 songs to your Google Play Music account at no charge; the previous limit was 20,000.

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[company]Google[/company] announced the storage boost in a blog post on Wednesday, pointing out that once your tunes are uploaded, you can stream or download them on Android devices, an [company]Apple[/company] iPad or iPhone, a Chromebook or from a computer via the browser. Music tracks can also be streamed through Google’s Chromecast device.

The increased storage is a noticeable jump over what Apple offers with its iTunes Match service. There you get 25,000 track uploads but you have to pay $24.99 a year to get them. And you can’t get at those tunes from anything other than iTunes or an Apple TV, so Android device owners need not apply.

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For a while, I was a fan of iTunes Radio, which is ad-free with an iTunes Match account, but later opted to use Google Play Music. The main reason? The portability. I have one foot firmly in both camps — that is, iOS and Android — and I prefer cross-platform services that work regardless of the device I’m using; including a smartwatch. It helps that Google recently made its Play Music app for iOS universal so that it has a true iPad interface now.

That’s just personal preference on my part though, and [company]Amazon[/company]’s own music storage is a worthy contender in this space too. Which of these (or other) cloud music services are you using to store your albums and why? Maybe you’ll convince me to reconsider my approach.

T-Mobile adds 14 music apps that don’t count against data caps

On Monday, T-Mobile added several new music apps to its list of Music Freedom services, including Google Play Music and SoundCloud. The program allows users to stream music from various services without data usage counting against subscribers’ monthly data allotments.

Google Play Music subscribers get access to YouTube Music Key

When Google announced its new music subscription service, YouTube Music Key, it mentioned that subscribers would also get access to Google Play Music’s streaming service. Well, it looks like as if it’ll work the other way, too: Google has started sending notes to Google Play Music All Access subscribers that they’ll get access to YouTube Music Key, and during the beta period to boot. It’s unclear whether Google Play Music subscribers will get a crack at the introductory $7.99 price or if they’ll still pay the $9.99 that Google Play Music charges per month. If you’re not in that boat and want an invite to YouTube Music Key, you can sign up here.

Google Play Music just launched a new visualization mode for Chromecast

Here’s something cheesy but fun for all you Chromecast users out there: Google Play Music now lets you stream video of a fireplace to your TV while you cast your music. “Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve got the perfect way for you to set the mood,” reads  a Google+ post that also explains how to enable the visualization. A Google(s goog) spokesperson didn’t say whether Google is working on any other visualizations, but told me that this one was based on a request a user made on Reddit — for Christmas. Better late than never, I guess?