Listed: All the Google Home and Assistant Music Commands and Compatible Services

Voice commands for music | Which music services (Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify?) are Google Home compatible with | Multi-room commands | Can you listen to free music | and more...
Google Home Music
Updated: 6th Feb 2020
Published: 24th Jan 2020
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By SHN Team

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As Google and Amazon continue to develop digital voice assistants, smart speakers are rapidly growing popular in many countries. One of the most famous smart speakers on the market is Google Home, which is powered by Google’s proprietary AI voice assistant.

Google Home is Google’s smart speaker with a digital assistant and is available as either a standard Google Home or Google Nest mini version (formerly Google Home Mini). This smart speaker makes your life much easier by performing a wide range of tasks such as playing music and managing your favourite songs.

Read on to learn more about all the Google Home and Assistant music commands that you should know to fully maximise the available music services on Google Home.

Available music services on Google Home

Google Play Music

Google Play Music

Google Play Music is one of the biggest music services in the world, with an extensive library of over 40 million songs. Moreover, there is a wide variety of genre/activity/mode stations available for free. If you have not yet subscribed to YouTube Music Premium and want to access Google Play Music, it will tell you that you are not subscribed but will provide other accessible stations by saying ‘Choosing songs/album is only available for YouTube Music Premium subscribers, but here is a similar station’.

YouTube Music Premium

YouTube Premium

Subscribing to YouTube Music Premium will give you admission to personalised stations. In fact, you will be able to play any track on your favourite list. Additionally, you will be able to play advert-free videos and even download music for offline listening. The good news is that YouTube Music Premium is available on a 30-day free trial for first-time subscribers.

Spotify Premium

Spotify Music Service compatible

Spotify Premium is another popular music service with a library of more than 30 million songs. The good part is that it is supported by Google Home. You can play whichever playlist you like, even those specifically designed for activities, moods, etc.

Radio services

Since some music services, such as Pandora and iHeartRadio, are like radio services, they have certain limitations on Google Home. For instance, you can’t select specific songs or playback.

Can You Play Apple Music on Google Home? (Here’s How You Can Play Apple Music on Google Home)

Although Google Play Music is the default music service on Google Home, it supports other services such as Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube Music. Unfortunately, Apple Music is not featured on Google Home.

So, if you have an Apple Music subscription, how do you stream your favourite Apple Music songs?

There are two main ways to play Apple Music on Google Home:

Method 1: Play via Bluetooth

  • Tap ‘Devices’ in the top right corner of your Google Home app home screen
  • Find the device card of the device you want to pair
  • Click ‘Device card’ and enable pairing mode
  • Go to your mobile device Bluetooth settings
  • Tap the Google Home you would like to pair

If you successfully pair your device, the Google Home speaker will play music like any other Bluetooth speaker.

Method 2: Convert Apple Music to Google Home

Using Apple Music on Google Home is a possible method of listening to your favourite music. However, this method has some limitations. For instance, you cannot use voice commands to control your music. This means that you will need to manage the music manually, which can be annoying.

Since all songs on Apple Music are encrypted, you will have to use a converter. A converter will enable you to change Apple Music songs to audio formats, which you can easily upload to your Google Play Music.

Can You Play Amazon Music on Google Home? (Here’s How You Can Play Amazon Music on Google Home)

Amazon Music is one of the biggest direct competitors to Google Play Music. It is a popular streaming service with over 40 million songs. The subscription is also more affordable than others on the market.

If you are an Android user, it is now possible to stream your favourite songs on your Google Home speakers via the Amazon Music app.

First, you have to download the Amazon Music app, which is available for free on the Google Play store. After installing the app, sign in with your Amazon account. Take note that if you have installed Amazon on your phone, your account will sign in automatically.

Look for the ‘Cast’ icon at the upper-right corner on the home screen display in the app. If the icon is not present, ensure that your mobile device is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Google Home. Tap on the icon and select Google Home from the list. A jingle will be produced when the devices connect.

The Google Assistant on Google Home works excellently for Google’s ecosystem. However, with the Amazon Music app, Google Assistant is limited. For instance, if you use a command such as ‘Okay Google, play (song) on (app name)’, you will get a response that voice actions are not available. Although the voice commands may not be accessible, conventional options for controlling playback are still available.

Here are some basic commands to play Amazon Music on your Google Home:

  • Okay Google, pause/stop the song
  • Okay Google, play next song
  • Okay Google, play the previous song
  • Okay Google, increase/reduce the volume

How to Play Free Music on Google Home

If you have a paid subscription to Google Music, Deezer, or Spotify, it is extremely easy to play your favourite songs on Google Home. You will only need to say, ‘Okay Google, play me (any song)’.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a subscription, there are alternative ways you can play music on your Google Home. These are:

  1. Use the free version of YouTube Music

The free version of YouTube Music has the same functionality as the paid version. However, it is full of ads, which can be annoying. It is like a radio that allows you to choose the playlist.

To select the free YouTube Music as your playback service, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Google Home app settings
  • Scroll down to Google Assistant Services and select Music
  • Choose YouTube Music from the list

  1. Use Spotify free version

Apart from the premium version of Spotify, Google Home also supports the free option. Although it comes with limited features, you can still use basic commands like shuffle, skip, etc. Just like the YouTube Music free version, the Spotify free option is also full of adverts.

  1. Listen to Internet radio

On your Google Home, you can stream music from compatible online radio services. Even though you can't control the type of music played, you will be able to listen to the latest songs without paying a cent. Just say ‘Okay Google, play (radio station name)’.

  1. Set up a playlist in Google Play Music

Google Play Music is an excellent music manager, whether you are subscribed to the service or not. You can use it to create a playlist of the songs saved in the internal storage of your device. To play the playlist, say ‘Okay Google, play (playlist name)’.

Got Amazon Alexa? Read also: All The Alexa Music Commands You Should Know in a List

How to set your default music service on Google Home

By following the steps below, you’ll be able to set your favourite music service as the default service to play your preferred songs/artists/genres//playlist.

  1. Ensure that your mobile device is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Google Home.
  2. Open your Google Home app.
  3. On the top right of the screen, tap on your account.
  4. Confirm that the Google account is the one linked to your Google Home. To switch accounts, tap on ‘add another account’.
  5. Go back to the home screen and tap ‘add+ music and audio’.
  6. To make a music service the default service, tap the particular service you would like to use.
  7. Linking functionality:
    1. Your Google Play and YouTube accounts are automatically linked when you link your Google account to Google Home.
    2. For other music services like Spotify and Pandora, you will need to link your accounts.
  • To connect your account, tap on the particular music service. Sign in and follow the prompts.
  • To unlink the account, tap unlink.

How to listen to music on Google Home

On Google Home, you can enjoy music services by artist, song, genre, album, playlist, or activity. Whether you are using the Google Home alone or with other people, each individual can only link a single account per streaming service. Also, each person will hear different music based on their partners and subscription.

Note that some of these partners may not be available in your region. Contact the partner to check whether they are available in your area.

  • Google Play Music Free, Spotify Free, YouTube Music (available in the US, Canada and India only), and Pandora Free (You’ll get stations of songs inspired by the song, album, or artist you have requested).
  • Google Play Music Premium, Spotify Premium, YouTube Music Premium, YouTube Premium, Pandora Premium, and Deezer Premium (You’ll get specific songs, albums, or artists along with music based on genre, mood, or activity on your playlist).

Common voice commands for all content providers

To request a song, say:

  • Okay Google, play (song name).
  • Okay Google, play (song name) by (artist name).
  • Okay Google, play (song name) from (album name).
  • Okay Google, play (song name) on (music service).
  • Okay Google, play songs like (artist name).

To request an artist, say:

  • Okay Google, play (artist name).
  • Okay Google, play music by (artist name).
  • Okay Google, play (artist name) on (music service).
  • Okay Google, play songs like (artist name).

To request an album, say:

  • Okay Google, play (album name).
  • Okay Google, play (album name) by (artist name) on (music service).

To play music based on genre/mood/activity, say:

  • Okay Google, play classical music.
  • Okay Google, play music for cooking.

To play personalised suggested content from chosen service:

  • Okay Google, play some (genre) music on (music service).

To shuffle, say:

  • Okay Google, shuffle.
  • Okay Google, shuffle (album name).
  • Okay Google, shuffle some music.
  • Okay Google, play (album name) and shuffle.

How to control Google Home’s music volume           

You can use the following commands to control the volume:

  • Okay Google, increase the volume.
  • Okay Google, turn up/down the volume.
  • Okay Google, increase the volume to maximum.
  • Okay Google, decrease the volume.
  • Okay Google, reduce the volume to a minimum.

If you want to put the volume on precise levels, say:

  • Okay Google, lock the volume level at x.
  • Okay Google, put the volume to 30%.

To verify the volume level, say:

  • Okay Google, what is the volume level?

To mute, just say:

  • Okay Google, mute/unmute.

How to control Google’s music playback

Use the following commands to stop and resume a playback:

  • Okay Google, stop/pause the music.
  • Okay Google, resume/continue the music.

If you want to navigate through an album, record, or playlist, you can say:

  • Okay Google, play next song.
  • Okay Google, jump this track.

To control a particular song:

  • Okay Google, start this song from the start.
  • Okay Google, skip to X second/minute.

To shuffle or repeat a song:

  • Okay Google, restart this track.
  • Okay Google, shuffle.

Google Home music commands on Spotify

Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming services, with over 70 million subscribers. If you have subscribed to this service, you can access your favourite songs by using the right commands. However, you first need to link your Spotify account to Google Home.

Here are some common commands you can use:

  • Okay Google, play my playlist on Spotify. 
  • Okay Google, turn up the volume on Spotify.
  • Okay Google, play some rock music on Spotify.
  • Okay Google, pause this song on Spotify.

How to navigate the equaliser on your Google Home

It is important to note that there are no equaliser commands on Google Home. However, you can access the equaliser setting in the Google Home app.

How to go through Google Home’s music database

Below are the common commands to play music by title, album, or artist.

If you know the exact song you wish to hear, you can say:

  • Okay Google, play the song (title).
  • Okay Google, shuffle the record.
  • Okay Google, play a song by (artist’s name).
  • Okay Google, play the song (title) by an artist (name).

Several commands to choose your music by genre:

  • Okay Google, play music by genre.

Note that you must first let Google know your favourite genres and artist. To access the genre list, go to Google Play Music settings and tap ‘improve recommendations’. Available genres include:

  • Folk
  • Dance/Electronic
  • Country
  • Classical
  • Christian/Gospel
  • Blues
  • Alternative/Indie
  • Rock
  • Reggae
  • R&B/soul
  • Pop
  • New Age
  • Metal
  • Latin
  • Jazz
  • Hip/Hop/Rap
  • World
  • Vocal Listening

How to control your music by activity or mood

There are various activities related to songs that are available on Google Assistant. So, you can request Google Home to play music to match what you are doing or the mood you are in. Simply say:

  • Okay Google, play music for (particular activity like running).

Here are some of the activities available on Google Home:

  • Working
  • Making Dinner
  • Relaxing
  • Boosting your energy
  • Falling asleep
  • Driving
  • Family time
  • Working out
  • Having fun
  • Being romantic

Some of the available moods include:

  • Happy
  • Focused
  • Exhausted
  • Calm
  • Energetic
  • Angry
  • Sad
  • Confident
  • Romantic
  • Party mood

Commands to combine activities, moods, and genre:

  • Okay Google, play happy electronic songs.
  • Okay Google, play sad pop songs from the ‘60s.
  • Okay Google, play energetic rock songs.
  • Okay Google, play mellow blues songs.
  • Okay Google, play happy songs for dancing.
  • Okay Google, play slow music for sleeping.

How to play the latest songs on Google Home

To play new songs, you can say:

  • Okay Google, play latest music.

To play new songs from your preferred artist, say:

  • Okay Google, play latest music by (artist name).
  • Okay Google, play new songs by (artist name).

To request the new album from your favourite artist, say:

  • Okay Google, play the new album by (artist name).

However, Spotify does not have the feature to play the latest album by an artist.

How to play famous songs on Google Home

Common commands to play popular songs:

  • Okay Google, play top hits.
  • Okay Google, play top songs.
  • Okay Google, play top songs from the ‘90s.

How to like/dislike a song and play your preferred songs

For Google Play Music:

  • Okay Google, play my favourite playlist.

For Spotify:

  • Okay Google, play my playlist on Spotify.

To add a song into your favourite list, just say:

  • Okay Google, I love/like this song.
  • Okay Google, thumbs up.

If you dislike a song, just say:

  • Okay Google, I dislike this song.
  • Okay Google, thumbs down.

How to play tracks by lyrics

If you don’t remember the title of your preferred song but only some snippets lyrics, you can retrieve the song by the lyrics. You will only need to say:

  • Okay Google, play the song that goes (lyrics).

How to play a song by describing the cover

Apart from requesting a song by its lyrics, you can also request a record by describing the album cover. You can say:

  • Okay Google, play the album with (describe the details/features of the cover).

Here are examples of some of the most common album covers.

  • Okay Google, play the album with Prince sitting on a purple motorcycle.
  • Okay Google, play me the album with a prism and rainbow rays.
  • Okay Google, play the album with a child swimming to reach a dollar bill.
  • Okay Google, play the album with a nurse wearing a blue glove.

How to play music by location

There are many factors that Google takes into consideration to personalise music for you. For instance, your smartphone location is one example of your data that Google considers.

On your Google Music App’s home screen, there are various station suggestions based on your location data. Google will propose and play appropriate songs for you when you are at the gym, airport, or office.

There are various ways Google can figure out what you are doing or the mood you are in to play the music accordingly. In most cases, it is not necessary to tell Google what you are doing or where you are for it to select the most appropriate songs. Google uses all the data it has collected from you to provide a personalised music experience.

These are some of the ways Google collects your information:

  • Web and app activities – Google tracks your activities on web browsers and apps to provide a customised experience in your searches, maps, etc.
  • Location history – Google keeps a map of your locations to offer improved commute routes, map searches, etc.
  • Device information – Google collects data from your contacts, calendar, and other apps on your connected devices to improve your holistic experience.
  • Voice activities – Google stores your voice and audio inputs to recognise your voice and refine the search.
  • YouTube search – Google stores your YouTube search history to improve your recommendations and future searches.

How to control your music library and playlist

You can add particular songs to your library or playlist by saying:

  • Okay Google, add this song to my playlist/library.

Also, you can control what you want to hear by saying:

  • Okay Google, play (song/artist/album) from my playlist.

To listen to you your playlist, you can say:

  • Okay Google, play my playlist (name).
  • Okay Google, I would like to listen to (name) playlist.

How to get information about the songs

There are numerous ways you can ask your Google Home questions when a song is playing. For example, you can say:

  • Okay Google, what is the name of the artist of this song?
  • Okay Google, what is the title of this song?
  • Okay Google, which year was this song released?
  • Okay Google, what is the (artist’s) latest song?

How to listen to podcasts

You can listen to your favourite podcasts on your Google Home from anywhere in your home. On the downside, this feature is only available in English.

Note that currently, it is not possible to request podcast players from partner podcast players like Spotify, Google Play Music, and TuneIn.

Popular commands to control podcast:

  • Okay Google, play (podcast’s name).
  • Okay Google, play the first episode of (podcast’s name).
  • Okay Google, play the last episode of (podcast’s name).
  • Okay Google, what is the title of this podcast?
  • Okay Google, play the previous/next episode.

How to control music playback on another speaker using your Google Home

To control another speaker connected to your Google Home, you can say:

  • Okay Google, play (song/album/artist/genre) on (speaker name as saved).
  • Okay Google, stop playing on (speaker’s name).

How to form a synchronised Google Speakers Group

To get synchronised music in all the rooms in your house, you can make a grouping of Google Home and Google Nest and other speakers with built-in Chromecast. All your favourite songs from Chromecast-enabled apps can be streamed.

Some of the matching devices are Google Nest Mini (2nd gen), Google Home, Google Home Max, and Google Home Mini (1st gen), as well as speakers with built-in Chromecast.

Common commands to control music on Google Speaker group:

  • Okay Google, play (track or album or artist) in (group name).
  • Okay Google, play next (group name).
  • Okay Google, stop playing (group name).
  • Okay Google, set the volume at x percent.

It is essential to know that changing the volume of an individual speaker in a group will change the volume in the entire group.

How to shift music to a different speaker or group in your house
It is possible to move a song playing on your Google Home to another speaker group or device. Just say:

  • Okay Google, move (song) to (speaker name).
  • Okay Google, move (song) to (device name).

It is important to note that you can tap on the cast button on your Google Home app to choose where you would like to move a song or podcast.

Furthermore, the cast button can also be found on the bottom left during playback. Click on the button to choose the group or device to move the music or podcast to. Also, you can move YouTube videos from Nest Hub to the Chromecast. Just say: ‘Hey Google, play the video on (Chromecast name).’

How to control the radio on Google Home

Use the following commands to play local music, news, and talk radio stations. You can also choose by the specific name of the radio or frequency:

  • Okay Google, play 93.9. 
  • Okay Google, play Magic 102.3.
  • Okay Google, play New York 98.1.

How to set sleep time and music alarm on Google Home

You can use the following commands to set a sleep timer:

  • Okay Google, assign the timer for x seconds/minutes/hours.
  • Okay Google, start the sleep timer at (time).
  • Okay Google, stop music in (duration).
  • Okay Google, stop music at (time).

To indicate the exact time the music should play, you can say:

  • Okay Google, play (song/artist/album) for duration (x time).
  • Okay Google, play (song/artist/album) up to (time).

To confirm the time left on the sleep timer, you can say:

  • Okay Google, how much time is remaining on the sleep timer?

To stop the sleep time, say:

  • Okay Google, turn off the sleep timer.

To manage your music alarm, say:

  • Okay Google, set the alarm at (time) every day.

After setting the time, Google Assistant will ask which music to play. In fact, you can specify the music to be played at a particular time of day. Just say:

  • Okay Google, wake me up at (time) to (song/artist/genre/playlist/radio).
  • Okay Google, set the everyday alarm at (time) and play (song/album/artist/playlist).

To stop the alarm, say:

  • Okay Google, disable the (time) alarm.
  • Okay Google, cancel all alarm settings.

To stop the alarm or time, you don’t need to say ‘Hey/Ok Google’. You can just say:

  • Stop.

How to create your own music commands with Google Assistant’s routine

Google Home features a routine that is triggered with a custom phrase or on a custom schedule. For instance, you can create a routine that dims the lights in the house, adjusts the temperature, plays some music, and locks all the doors when you say ‘Hey Google, good night’.

Alternatively, you can have a routine that runs every weekday that starts with the alarm playing the latest news, turns on the lights, warms the shower, makes your coffee, and sets the timer to let you know the exact time to leave the house.

Google Home comes with six ready-made routines. These include good morning, bedtime, leaving home, I’m home, commuting to work, and commuting home routines. To use these routines, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Tap setting.
  3. Go to ‘Google Assistant services’ and tap on ‘more settings’.
  4. Select Assistant, then tap ‘routines’.
  5. Under ready-made, choose the routine you want.

Note that you can adjust individual routines by tapping the setting button next to the routine icon.

Apart from using the pre-set schedule, you create your own routine. To create a custom routine:

  1. Make sure your mobile device is on the same Wi-Fi as your Google Home.
  2. Go to settings.
  3. Scroll to ‘Google Assistant’ and click ‘more settings’.
  4. Select Assistant and then tap Routines>Add a routine.
  5. Under ‘when’, tap ‘Add Commands required’ > Add > enter the phrase you would like to trigger the routine>Ok>save.
  6. Under ‘Assistant will’, tap add action>enter what the Google Assistant should do. You can enter any Google command or choose from popular actions.

With a routine, you can combine various actions:

  • Type in the normal voice command.
  • Select from other common actions such as: 
  • Controlling your smart devices.
  • Getting information on weather, commute, etc.
  • Communicating through broadcast and messages.
  • Adjusting common settings such as volume, modes, etc.
  • Allowing Google to respond with a personalised message.

The good thing is that you can indicate what you want to be played:

  • Songs by (artist, song, playlist, genre, album).
  • News by (sources available).
  • Radio by (stations).
  • Podcast (last played or next episode).
  • Audiobooks (last played).
  • Sleep sounds (Forest, rain, river, fireplace, and more).

Note that the schedule custom routine is only available in the US.

How to control your music in multiple languages

Apart from English, the Google Assistant on your Google Home supports other languages. To access the language settings;

  1. Open Google Home app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap ‘settings’.
  3. Scroll down to ‘Google Assistant services’ and tap more settings.
  4. Click ‘Assistant’ >languages.
  5. Tap your current language>choose a new language.

Some of the supported languages include:

  • Danish
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • English (Australia, Canada, UK, US, Ireland)

ADDED EXTRA: How to control your smart home with Google Home

Currently, Google Home works with a wide range of devices and brands. Here are some of the most common commands.

To control smart lights, say:

  • Okay Google, turn on/off the lights.
  • Okay Google, dim my lights to x percentage.
  • Okay Google, change my light to (colour name).
  • Okay Google, turn the lights on/off in (room name).

To control smart thermostats, say:

  • Okay Google, set the temperatures to x degrees.
  • Okay Google, raise the temperature by x degrees.
  • Okay Google, make it warmer.
  • Okay Google, turn on the cooling.
  • Okay Google, set the thermostat to heating.
  • Okay Google, turn the thermostat to the heat-cool mode.

To control smart plugs and switches:

  • Okay Google, turn on/off the (plug name).
  • Okay Google, turn on/off (switch name).

To control smart home security:

  • Okay Google, show (camera name).
  • Okay Google, what is on (camera name)?
  • Okay Google, show (camera name) on (Chromecast device name).
  • Okay Google, play (camera name) on (Chromecast device name).

To control appliances, say:

  • Okay Google, start the (vacuum name).
  • Okay Google, start vacuuming.
  • Okay Google, is the (vacuum name) running?
  • Okay Google, stop vacuuming.

There are hundreds of Google Home commands you can use to make your life easier. Even though most of the commands are ready-made, Google allows you to create custom routines and commands.

Furthermore, if you don’t remember the title of a song, you can request it by lyrics or by describing the album cover. Google Routine is another helpful feature that makes complicated schedules into simple steps. All in all, Google Home is a great device to have in your house.

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