Google Home (or Google Nest as they are now branded) smart speakers have a great many uses, whether they are used to control smart home kit or for answering questions on the kids' homework. The one activity most users will enjoy, however, is playing their favourite music on-demand.
If you do pay a monthly subscription for Google Music, Deezer or Spotify then achieving this is easy. Having connected the service in the Google Home app you simply say, "Okay Google, play [whatever song you like]." Provided that song is in the service's database playback will begin.
You may be offered a 30-day free trial of Google Music at purchase, and we'd certainly recommend trying this to see how it compares, but once the trial ends you don't have to put your hand in your pocket to keep listening to your favourite songs.
Should you choose not to subscribe to any of these services, below we outline some alternatives that will let you enjoy any music on-demand on Google Home, all for free.
1. Get ad-supported music with the free version of YouTube Music
Though there are paid plans for YouTube Music (which you will automatically have access to if you sign up for Google Music), there is also a free version that has all the same functionality but is paid for not with cash but by you agreeing to listen to the odd advert. It's kind of like radio, really, except you get to choose the playlist.
To select YouTube Music as your preferred playback service, launch the Google Home app, tap the Account icon at the bottom right of the screen, then choose Settings, Services, Music. From the list select YouTube Music.
2. Connect Spotify Free
It's not only the Premium version of Spotify that is supported by Google Home, but also the free option. This is more limited in its features, but Spotify Free does allow you to listen to music in shuffle mode and skip tracks up to six times an hour, and you can access playlists and discover new music. As with the free version of YouTube Music it's supported by adverts.
You'll need to sign up for a Spotify account before you can begin using this, so look for the app in the Google Play Store or iOS' App Store. Once registered, launch the Google Home app and tap the Account icon at the bottom right of the screen. Choose Settings, Services, Music and then select Spotify.
3. Listen to internet 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].”
4. Set up a playlist in Google Play Music
Google Play Music is a music manager app for any tunes stored on your phone or tablet, whether or not you subscribe to the service. It's possible to purchase music from the store on a one-off basis, and access any tracks saved to your device's internal storage. Any tracks you can access within the app can be added to a playlist, and that playlist can then be streamed to Google Home. Simply say, "Okay Google, play [playlist name]."
5. Cast audio from your phone or tablet
This isn't quite as straightforward as asking Google Assistant to begin playing whatever song you fancy, but it is quite possible to cast music from a nearby phone or tablet. This is possible either through the Cast option that is found in some device's drop-down navigation bar, or by treating the Google Home as a Bluetooth speaker.
Tap Cast, select your Google Home, then begin playing audio on your device. It should play on the Google Home.
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