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11-17-2011, 10:32 AM #1
Google Music Provides Competent Experience, No Real Reasons for iOS Users to Switch
Google revealed their Google Music service yesterday at an event held in L.A., bringing a slew of new features to the service that was in Beta for the last three months.
Users will still use the Music Manager application to upload music to the "web locker" for streaming on Android devices and streaming through the web app for iOS devices. Users will still be limited to 20,000 songs, but that upload limit is free, and a lot of songs for the average user. For music hoarders like myself, it's a sliver of a much larger pie. Also, Google Music is now fully integrated with the Android Market music store. All music purchased in the Android Market automatically shows up in the Music app.
Thus far Google has nearly 8 million songs available from Sony, EMI, Universal and reportedly 1,000 different indie labels. Songs will cost $.99 or $1.29, and all are 320kbs. Standard Apple pricing, but still not as broad a selection. The big questions for iOS users is it worth switching from iTunes with its Match service or Spotify or any other music solution? No, no it's not.
Google Music is a fantastic addition for Android users who have been longing for a decent native Google solution, but for everyone else there are too many limitations as of now. Currently uploading songs to Google Music is incredible slow. One user claimed it took nearly an hour to finish uploading 22 of the 160 songs he queued. That's another complaint, users can only point the Music Manager to a specific folder for uploading music. Unless all your music is in the same folder it's going to be a tedious process of searching and uploading. Things would be much simpler if Music Manager simply scanned your entire hard drive for music then uploaded. Apple's iTunes Match solution allows users to forgo the entire uploading experience, but it also means users are limited to songs available on Apple's servers. I guess that's what iCloud is for.
The Web Interface for Google Music is fast, clean and functional. For iOS users it offers a nice hold over before the promised native iOS app is available. Users can make playlists, organize music on the home screen by artist, song, album or genre and this is all automatically determined by Google Music. All your usual playback controls like shuffle, loop, pause, skip, play, and volume controls are available at the bottom of the browser screen.
Google Music does attempt to implement and interesting sharing option via Google+. Users can share a song with a friend via Google+ and the user the song is shared with can listen to it one time through for free. However, the songs that can be shared are limited to songs purchased via the Android Market. A very Apple-esque move if you ask me.
Google Music is a competent offering by Google, but it lacks the ease of use of iTunes Match, and as a pure cloud music experience it isn't as quick as Amazon's offering. For Android users who want a free, native, and functional cloud based music solution this is it. For iOS users and others who are invested in other streaming and cloud based solutions, Google doesn't offer much incentive to switch.
Last edited by Phillip Swanson; 11-17-2011 at 10:38 AM.
11-17-2011, 10:45 AM #2
Not everything is about Users switching or dumping one solution for another. sometimes people just want the best of both and its not about one being better or one being first or one having more. I use Windows 7 and I have a Samsung Galaxy S II but I refuse to give up my iPhone 4.
11-17-2011, 10:54 AM #3
That upload speed seems about the same if not better than my experience with iCloud. Out my measly 4264 songs, it only matched 3100. So i had to upload over a thousand songs, at an average rate of 15-25 an hour. Took me over a day to finally finish because it kept having to stop because of server issues. But once i got it working, i've been very happy with it. It just sucked setting it all up. iTunes Match doesn't match as much as i had hoped. And the stupid thing is i KNOW that they are on iTunes. Especially when the whole album matches, except for the one song i listen to most, which has to be uploaded. I also had 3 songs that received some kinda of error that i can't seem to fix. I feel sorry for anyone with outstanding Libraries trying to use iTunes Match. It also messed up all my album art, and if it's matched, it used other album art than what you originally had. There's some bugs in this cloud stuff. Hopefully they will get fixed soon.
11-17-2011, 11:02 AM #4
It's worth noting that there is an unofficial Appstore app for google music called GMusic, and it is REALLY good. I am not sure what the author here means by "no real reason to switch". If you want free cloud streaming of all your songs, you have all the reason in the world to switch. If iTunes match was flawless, but that obviously is not the case.
11-17-2011, 11:26 AM #5
Google thought to themselves, "hey, iTunes is making all this money" if one or two percentage stumble upon us and purchase, that's a lot of money!"
11-17-2011, 11:40 AM #6
Also, the limitation of 20,000 songs is a deal breaker for many. My collection is upwards of 65,000 songs. Almost all of which were acquired legally. This of course is the result of my time as a DJ and a unhealthy obsession with purchasing CDs and Vinyl in high school.
I agree iTunes Match is by no means flawless, but I believe it will get better. The difference between having to upload your entire music collection and a few thousand songs is huge. Myself? I own too much obscure and hard to find music that iTunes wants no part of. But, right now I'm invested in the iTunes and Apple ecosystem and as a result Google's offering isn't appealing. Yet.
11-17-2011, 01:54 PM #7
11-17-2011, 01:59 PM #8
11-17-2011, 02:40 PM #9
Google Music: when you've managed to do something /worse than iTunes/, you should know you've done an impressively bad job.
11-17-2011, 04:02 PM #10
I'd say the fact that iTunes runs like garbage on any Windows system is a pretty compelling reason to switch. I get that it runs well on OSX, but the terrible version that Windows users is inexcusable.
11-17-2011, 05:42 PM #11
Different stroke for different folks... free to choose...
11-17-2011, 07:23 PM #12
I just started using spotify...so good!... Why use iTunes or google music anymore?
11-17-2011, 08:07 PM #13
good ! I probably wouldn't have bothered as there is 'no real reason' to try it.
11-18-2011, 01:27 PM #14
If you happen to have a computer at your home that runs 24/7, I'd recomend checking out Subsonic. It's a music streamer that runs on your computer with no practical song limits, a nice web interface, android / ios / wp7 apps, podcasts, jukebox mode (if your computer is hooked up to your stereo), last.fm scrobbling, lyric lookups, multiple users, and now video streaming support.
I keep trying out these new services hoping one of them will blow me away, but I keep going back to my subsonic server...Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. -- M.C. Escher
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge. -- D.J. Boorstin