If you have been hearing about the new Play Music device deauthorization rules, it can be a bit sensational and frustrating. To clarify things, we spoke with a Google Play representative to find out what was going on. Turns out, you’re likely not going to have any issues at all.
You can still authorize up to ten devices to use Play Music — that’s unchanged. Do keep in mind that it’s ten devices, not ten smartphones or tablets. That ten device limit isn’t counting your desktop, though, because you access Play Music from a web browser.
Google tells us the new deauthization rule was implemented last week. A representative also confirmed that your device uses the IMEI number on your phone or tablet to authorize a device. They tell us a hard reset or flashing a ROM won’t alter your authorization of Play Music.
If you cycle through a lot of devices, though — this might be an issue. Also, if you use Play Music as a family, this might concern you. Between a family of five that has two devices each, you’d have reached the authorization limit. That leaves four new authorizations (because you’d have to deauthorize devices) between the lot of you. For the year.
Of special note is that the policy seems to be retroactive. I tried to deauthorize a device I’m no longer using, and got the error message you see above. Keep in mind, I have a lot of devices cross my path, so this is a problem the average user won’t encounter… but I don’t share authorizations with anyone else, so now I’m in a strange grey area.
I can still authorize some devices, but I’m at my limit for removing them. This also makes Play Music something I now have to navigate around, moving forward with reviews and new handsets for personal use. I haven't deauthorized four devices since last week, either (just to be clear).
Again, not something the average consumer will likely have a problem with, but keep this in mind when you’re considering Play Music.