Google Play Music Is Shutting Down. Here's How to Save Your Tunes.

You’ll need to take separate steps if you’ve been using Google Play Music for podcasts. So far YouTube Music isn’t supporting podcast subscriptions, and the company is encouraging users to adopt the Google Podcasts app instead.

However, if you’ve been using Google Play Music for podcasts, the company makes it easy to transfer your downloads, subscriptions, and other data to the Google Podcasts app. You can start the transfer by clicking on a big button on a dedicated page Google has set up

If you pay for a Google Play Music subscription for ad-free streaming, the company will move the account to YouTube Music. You’ll get equivalent access to YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium (which includes both the music service and ad-free YouTube videos), based on how much you’re paying now. For users in the U.S. and most of the world, prices won’t change for now.

For people who use just the free ad-supported tier of Google Play Music, there’s some bad news and some good news. 

The bad news is that YouTube Music’s own free tier has an annoying quirk that’s not present in Google Play: You can’t lock your phone screen or switch over to another app without the music stopping. That means the service isn’t great if you want to do anything else with your phone while you listen to music—and keeping the screen on will drain your battery faster. There are other free music streaming services that might work better for you.

The good news is, this drawback doesn’t apply if you’re listening to your own files that you uploaded to the service. That means I’ll still be able to scroll through Twitter while I listen to my various unreleased Tom Waits live recordings without paying for a subscription.

Keep in mind that once you transfer your files, YouTube Music gets a copy of only the data you’ve generated so far. If you keep using Google Play Music, you’ll want to do another transfer if you add new songs, playlists, or other data that you want to save.