Google Play Music lets you upload your music collection to the cloud and stream songs over the internet for free. Or you can pay $10 per month for Google Play Music All Access and stream millions of songs.
Google lets you stream to any device with a supported web browser and you can link up to 10 Android, iOS or other devices to your account. If you hit the limit you can always add a new device by deauthorizing an old one you don’t use anymore.
You just can’t deauthorize more than 4 devices per year anymore. That might not sound like a problem… but it depends on how you use your devices.
Odds are that you probably don’t buy new smartphones per year, so you don’t need to deauthorize old ones. But what if there are more than four people in your household using the same Google Play Music account?
Or what if you’re a frequent ROM flasher? Every time you install a custom ROM on your Android phone or tablet you’re installing a new operating system… and if you want to use the Google Play Music app you’ve got to authorize it all over again. So if you’ve already hit the 10 device limit and you flash completely different custom ROMs on your device more than 4 times per year, you could find yourself unable to deauthorize your old “devices” which means no more Google Play Music streaming for you.
Update: There are some reports suggesting that you can flash ROMs and use Play Music without authorizing a new device… which means you shouldn’t have to deauthorize as frequently. If this is true, the limits won’t affect ROM flashers as much as it does people who have already authorized 10 devices and go through more than 4 new devices in a year.
The new limits are also retroactive… so if you’ve already deauthorized 4 devices this year you’re pretty much out of luck.
Android Police reports that if you run into trouble you might be able to contact Google and request a reset for all your authorized devices, at which point you’ll need to log back in on any devices you’re currently using. But if Google’s able to do this, it kind of makes me wonder why the company is imposing the restriction in the first place.
This isn’t the first time Google tried to restrict the number of deauthorizations — the company briefly rolled out a similar limitation in 2012 before delaying implementation.