Playing with Google Music

Playing with Google Music

I have had a little extra time on my hand the past few weeks and one of the tasks I’ve taken on is playing with Google Music.  Essentially, it’s the service that competes with the music portion of the new iTunes/iCloud offering.  As far as I can tell both services give you the following cool features:

  1. You can upload your existing music to the cloud.
  2. You can purchase songs from the store that are automatically loaded to the cloud.
  3. Once all your music is in the cloud you can listen to it on a browser on any computer or by using the Google Music app on any Android device.

This is a really cool feature.  It basically avoids any chance of you “losing” your music and also means you don’t have to “sync” your devices.  If you have an Android phone I highly recommend the service.  From some brief research and conversations with people who use the iCloud, Google Music seems to be a very comparable service.  As far as I can tell the only advantage to Google’s service is that it’s free (Apple will charge you $25.00 per year if you want the iCloud to support songs that weren’t purchased from iTunes).  It is also browser based, so it can be used on any device (including an iphone or ipad).

While Google has created a comparable service, Apple seems to be a bit ahead with two substantial advantages:

  1. I have noticed that Google’s library is not as big as iTunes.  On an open system this isn’t tragic, I got around it for a few songs by ordering them from Amazon and then pointing my Google Music Manager at the Amazon Downloads folder.
  2. It appears easier to download your entire library to a mobile device if you’re using iTunes/iOS then if you’re using Google Music/Android.  I was only able to download albums one at a time for “offline listening” but my phone has plenty of storage space for my entire library.  This proves very annoying when preparing for a road trip through some suspect coverage areas.
Overall, I think if you’re a true music nut you’re probably already using Apple over Google Music and you probably should be.  For those of us who enjoy music, but don’t spend hours fretting over it Google Music seems to be a capable product.