Update: Google Play is now available in the UK. Here’s how to use it in Ubuntu. And here’s  a guide to tweaking the desktop app Nuvola.

Google Play, formerly Google Music is only available in the US at the moment presumably for licencing reasons. But it is possible to get it outside the US in a variety of ways. Basically you have to trick the Google Play site into thinking you are actually in the US so you can register with your normal Gmail account. There are numerous tutorial on the web detailing how to do this so I’m not going to repeat everything here, I’m just going to recount what I tried and what eventually worked for me.

I wanted to be able to access my music from my Android mobile with Google Play and upload my music to the cloud from my Ubuntu PC. To do this you’ll need the Play Music app for Android, but since it’s not available outside the US the easiest way to get it is from the xda-developers site, download to your phone then install the apk file following this method. To upload your music you need the Google Music Manager, there was a copy on the xda-developers site  but this was the Windows version so I decided to wait till I’d registerd with play.google.com and download their Ubuntu 64bit version.

The simplest thing I tried first was some free proxy services like Hide My Ass and TunnelBear which effectively allows you to surf anonymously so web services cannot detect your true IP address. I tried a couple of these services but didn’t have any luck. I then followed the tutorial on  Engadget.com which recommended using the Tor Browser Bundle. Tor sets up a secure internet connection for you and by using the browser (a modified version of FireFox) included you should be able to connect with play.google.com. Unfortunately everytime I tried this approach I got suck on the T&C agreement stage and the browser just seemed to hang there.

Finally I found an approach that did work, TunnelBear have just released an Android app to allow you to set up a secure connection and select whether you’re in the UK or US. By selecting US all sites you visit will believe you are actually in the US. next thing to do was open a browser and go to  play.google.com and sign in with my usual Gmail account details, agree to the T&C and bingo I had now registered .

Back on my PC and using my normal WiFi connection I logged into play.google.com and proceeded to download the music manager which you’ll need to upload your music to the cloud.

So now all I have to do is spend ages uploading music to the cloud as it is by all accounts a very slow process.