May 16 AT 10:48 AM Sean Riley 29 Comments

PSA: ROMers beware! Google Music only allows four ‘device’ deauthorizations per year

Google Music Generic

Quick warning to the cross section of you that both love your Google Music and frequently flashing new ROMs onto your device(s), which I imagine might be quite a few of you.

Google has recently put a limit on the number of ‘devices’ that a user may deauthorize in a year and at just four that limit could definitely be a problem. If you weren’t already aware, the ceiling for devices that you can have authorized on a single Google Music account at any given time is ten.

I suspect if you are savvy enough to flash a new ROMs you can already see where the problem is, but for those that aren’t aware the phone is given a new ID within Google Music each time you register it after flashing a new ROM. So the same device could potentially eat up your entire quota after just a few new ROMs.

Considering the dedicated and often vocal ROM development community that Android has fostered, it’s possible that we will see some serious backlash over this which could in turn lead to a reversal or at least a softening of the policy by Google.

In the mean time if this sounds like it may be a problem for you I would recommend heading over to the XDA thread listed in the VIA link below as they are already discussing potential workarounds such as restoring accounts via Titanium Backup to avoid a new authorization.

I’m hoping this is one of those situations where the full ramifications of the policy change were not thought through properly and that we will see Google come up with a workable solution, but as the vast majority of users would never run into this problem it’s entirely possible that it will stand.

Update: It seems that Google may have fixed this problem without saying a peep about it as the deauthorization limit seems to have suddenly been lifted. I was able to deauthorize all of my current devices from my list just moments ago after having hit the limit of four this morning. There’s been no change to Google’s policy in the Play Store Support page yet so we’ll have to see if Google has replaced the restriction with something more lenient or just done away with it completely.

Update 2: Here’s the official update from Google. The upshot is that for the time being you’re free to deauthorize devices at will, but that won’t be the permanent solution.

Yesterday we made a change to our device policy for music on Google Play. Any user can associate up to 10 devices to his or her account. Once you have connected 10 devices, you may add a new device only by deauthorizing an existing one from your account, and you may do this up to four times per year.

We limit the number of times you can swap out new devices at the request of some of our music partners in an effort to limit abuse. We understand this has caused some issues for users who often deauthorize and reauthorize the same device, and we are currently re-implementing the solution in a way that works for our users and music partners.

We apologize for any inconvenience and will update this page as new changes are made.Google Play Support


Via: XDA-Developers

Source: Google Play Support

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • Matthew

    Just a heads up to the article some people are reporting that if you wipe a device it is adding the device to your list of authorized devices again. Also if you get a android phone that has a defect and take it back each time you get a new phone or tablet like that and set up google music you will get hit with a new device application even though you do not own the device you returned anymore. I ran into this with one my one x. I had issues with 2 gray ones in a row and then returned my third one for a white one so now I have several one x entries I can not remove.

    • Sean Riley

      In my case it isn’t displaying an additional ID when I wipe my device. I’ve had to do a complete wipe on my current Galaxy Nexus a few times and it’s just in there once.

      To your second point there are certainly legitimate ways that you could run into this limit with new hardware from replacements or purchases, but I didn’t think it was likely enough to stress in the post.

      • Matt

        I do agree both of those issues I mentioned are small subsets of users so I do not blame it for being in the article. I also have to wonder if android wants to sell us unlocked phones directly and the issue of a new device per rom flash is not fixed will that be a negative in the minds of the admittedly smaller market that would buy a unlocked phone right from google?

    • Jedediah Sweetser

      I’ve flashed 5-6 Roms this year since getting my Gnex and never ‘restore phone using google’, i restore app+data using GN root toolkit. After reading this article i see Gnex (First day i got the phone) and Samsung Galaxy Nexus Device (Dated the first time I flashed it). No worries for me.

      • Jedediah Sweetser

        “I see” above refers to my Gmusic settings authorized devices.

  • oddball

    I don’t understand why this is an issue for Google music. The play store can easily determine that my device is the same no matter how often I flash a new ROM. I hope that once they realize this is an issue they will fix it quickly enough

  • sknoslo

    Wow that is awful. Certainly they can tell between a unique device and one that has had multiple ROMs installed… This could really hurt the average consumer too (maybe even more so), when they have a problem with their device and their carrier inevitably tells them to do a factory reset.

  • bellken

    It is a good thing, I don’t love Google Music, I may hit the limit very soon.

    • jonathan3579

      So don’t use it. Many of us see this as a bad thing since we actually like and use the service.

    • bellken

      I have flashed my Rezound 3 times on my own. In the Play Store, it shows my correct number of devices. In my Google Music Settings, I had 5 devices shown (i.e. my phone showed up 4 times). If you can de-authorized 4 devices a year, that actually gives you 14 devices, you can Authorize on Google Music (10 active and, 4 de-authorized).

      I think Google should be able to solve this issue very easily.

  • Joel

    I think Google is doing some behind the scenes wrangling in order to get the remaining major labels to sign on to Google Music. This could very well be a policy put in place at the behest of the record labels, and as such might not be softened as mentioned in the post here.

  • guardianali

    This article does not matter to people that “ROM” as the article puts it. And is kinda a useless article.
    Fact is, must people that use custom roms also use Backup app like the uber popular Titanium backup. Which backup not only the app but the data with it. When you restore using TB, it’s as if the app never left your phone. All settings, logins, everything is restored. Even Google music it’s restored with its phone I’d and everything from the old ROM as if it was never uninstalled.

    • Steve Barry

      Have you restored app+data with Google Music before? I’ve tried it and it never worked before. Until now, it’s never been an issue with me just reinstalling Google Music from the Play Store and re-adding my Gmail account. However, this might not be the case anymore.

      I’ve only tried restoring once (a while ago) and when it didn’t work, I haven’t tried since.

      • impulse101

        Works fine for me. I have restored Google Music App + Data at least 10 times in the past year with no issues.

  • g

    well, that solidifies me never using google music again. it was actually the worst app i have ever had the displeasure of using on my time with android. it froze all the time, it slowed my phone to a crawl, and the whole authorizing the same phone over and over again idiocy. and to guardianali, that doesn’t work or this wouldn’t be an issue. check xda.

  • Mark Beaty

    I had no idea you could get that album cover ‘carousel’ when selecting the ‘Recent’ mode until I saw that image. It should be that way for any mode!!!

  • inviolable

    That’s a little odd

  • masterpfa

    This & AppExtractor may be the only options ( or any app that allows you to re-instate a data back up), time will tell

  • kwills88

    Last week alone I’ve flashed about 8times and 5 different roms…>_>

  • Nathan D.

    Dam this sucks, it good to hear that it got lifted already, hopefully it will not come back.

  • aranea

    Good move from Google to lift the restriction up.

  • Jake Gall

    I use amazon because my music is my music, and storing it on their cloud after a purchase isa plus, since I can download it anytime.

  • Fulaman

    This is kind of dumb, I flash a new ROM about once a week. Google needs to reconsider.

  • breon

    What about the folks that review devices? Is a device only authorized if you actually open Google Music manually add it?

  • dylantep

    FYI they got rid of the deauthorization limit this morning. Google says they are going to change the policy so that it will not have this problem

  • Aaron_301

    Was this a new thing? Cause back in December I de authorized 10 devices, then I did the same thing in November… Or was I special for being in Canada?

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