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(Pocket-lint) - Google commenced shutting down Google Play Music from September 2020, with users of the service being prompted to act - or risk losing music they have purchased. The app ceased to offer streaming functionality from October 2020 with Google prompting users to move their purchased music to another service.

Having originally set a deadline for the end of 2020, it's now been further revealed that 24 February is the absolute deadline.

You can use Google Takeout for a .zip file of content that Google has if you want a physical download; Google said it would cease to host such data by the end of 2020, but it still appears to be available.

Pocket-lintGoogle Play Music is closing photo 2

How to transfer your Google Play Music to YouTube Music

An alternative, of course, is that you port everything to YouTube Music - which, ultimately, is the reason this shut-down is happening in the first place. Google is keen to push all its streaming to premium subscription services, although you can still access content you already own without a sub.

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  1. Head to music.youtube.com/transfer to start the process.
  2. Select the Google account - this is important, especially if you have a work account and a personal account. You want to make sure your music ends up in your personal account.
  3. Hit the Transfer button and Google will take care of everything in the background. 

This will move everything over - sounds you might have uploaded to Google Play Music in the past, items you've purchased from Google, as well as subsciptions, playlists and everything else. The time it takes will vary depending on how much content you have.

Writing by Mike Lowe. Editing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 5 August 2020.