Google shows it actually listens to its customers through Music authorization snafu

Just about everyone is aware of the idea of authorizing devices for different apps. There are lots of pieces of software that allow you to install one licensed version on multiple devices. You probably are most familiar with Apple’s iTunes allowing you to authorize up to five devices to use music, apps, movies, and more that you purchase with your Apple account. If you are anything like me you’ve probably gotten an error message before that you are over your authorization limit and must deauthorize a device in order to then add another trusted device to your account. Google Music also has such an authorization limit, but it is set to 10 different devices that can be allowed to access your account at one time.

Now you’re probably thinking who has 10 devices that they would want to run Google Music on? Probably not too many people, but the issue with Google Music is that ever time you flash a new ROM on your device, and then install Google Music, it sees that device as a new one to be authorized. If you are a flash-a-holic you could quickly get to that 10 device limit, all on the same device. No big deal, you just go to play.google.com/music and deauthorize some devices to make room for the new ones. A problem arose earlier this week however. An XDA member noticed that Google had changed its deauthorization policy and only allowed you to deauthorize four devices a year, instead of the unlimited number that you could previously. Of course there was no formal news post about this from Google, and there was a huge uproar from the community when it was discovered.

I’m far from a flash-a-holic with my Android devices, but I like to try different ROMs out when I see something interesting. Between my phone and tablet it would not take me long to hit that 14 device per year maximum and then not be able to access my Google Music account from my devices. The problem lies in how Google Music identifies the device to be authorized. It sees every new software install as a new piece of hardware, and until Google can figure out how to recognize the hardware, despite what software is on it, there will be problems with those in the root community. To Googles credit they reacted very quickly to the uproar from the community. Within 48 hours of the change being discovered, they have reversed their decision and lifted the four device per year limit.

This is great news for the root community, and the public as a whole, even though most people won’t ever know about it. For such a large company to care about something most people would see as something very minor is pretty unusual. It shows that Google actually cares about what the root community cares about, and doesn’t want to lose even that small percentage of its customer base. Let’s face it, if Google kept this limit in place, when a user hit that 14 device limit for the year do you think they would just stop listening to music? No, they would then find a different app that worked better for them, and Google would lose out. I see it all the time where companies make a drastic change, a lot of times to the look and feel of their software, and it’s not received well by the community. Usually the community just has to deal with it and the company inevitably loses customers due to their being unhappy and perceived as out of touch with its users. It’s good that Google wasn’t too high and mighty to reverse a change that wasn’t for the best.

[Android Community]

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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.