Google strikes at Apple Music with free streaming

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Google is hoping to distract you from Apple Music’s impending launch with a new streaming plan that won’t cost you a penny. Available on desktop and mobile platforms, the service lets you enjoy a whole host of curated playlists supported by ads.

Play Music’s free streaming plan is kind of like Spotify’s; you get free music, but you’ll have to listen to a few ads here and there, and you don’t get total control over what you listen to. In fact, Play Music is even more limited that Spotify without a premium plan.

While Spotify let’s you pick an album but forces you to listen to it on random, Play Music only offers curated playlists and radio stations based on artist or genre.

“Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don’t have to,” Google explains.

“If you’re looking for something specific, you can browse our curated stations by genre, mood, decade or activity, or you can search for your favorite artist, album or song to instantly create a station of similar music.”

There are lists like “Driving,” “Working Out,” “Boosting Your Energy,” and “Unwinding,” and for each one there are several radio stations to choose from. While you can’t just listen to one album, then, there is plenty of choice, and you’re more likely to discovered new music you haven’t heard before.

Play Music’s free plan is only available to customers in the U.S. for now, and you can find it now in the Play Music web player. It will also be available inside the official Android and iOS apps later this week.