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].” Also see: How to add user accounts to Google Home
The problem is, Google Home is currently able to do this only if you have linked a premium Google Play Music or Spotify account, both of which cost you £9.99 per month following a free trial. So how do you play music without it costing you anything? Also see: 100 funny things to ask Google Home
It’s worth pointing out to those who have not yet tried Google Home that this is not a Bluetooth speaker. Yet. At Google I/O 2017 the company announced it would be adding Bluetooth support, allowing you to play music direct from any Android device or iPhone.
At the developer's conference it also said it would be adding Deezer and SoundCloud's streaming services to the platform, as well as Spotify's free music option. But these aren't available in the UK just yet, and we suspect they will be available only in the US at first.
So, in the meantime, without a premium music subscription you have three workarounds:
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 doesn’t support Bluetooth it 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].”