A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

Summary: With the announcement at Apple's WWDC 2011 regarding iCloud music service (for a fee), those who get to play with Google's Music (Beta) - and general music lovers - are distinctly unimpressed.

TOPICS: Cloud, Apple, Google

With Apple's WWDC 2011 announcement regarding iCloud music service (for a fee), those who right now are playing with Google's Music (Beta) - and us basic music lovers - are distinctly unimpressed.

Like most everyone I know that has a varied, eclectic, much-loved (and growing) music collection from all corners of the music worlds, I'm getting increasingly peeved about portability, incompatibility, and lock-ins.

Which is why when I attended Google's I/O 2011 developer conference, I was particularly intrigued by Google Music Beta.

I didn't expect to love it. I am now using it every day - on all my computers and up to eight additional devices, if I so choose. Artwork was matched and added (and easily changed by me) to everything from mashups to podcasts to... Musical and MP3 gifts of oblique, dubious, and affectionate origin. Free.

I should also add that Apple's $24.99/year iCloud music service holds up to 20,000 songs, only after compelling the user to a paid upgrade.*

Google Music Beta currently holds up to 20,000 song files - free.

Feel the burn? This Apple fangirl does.

My only regret is that on writing this, it's still in invite-beta, and I can't 100% share it with all my friends - yet.

I also think that it makes Apple's WWDC 2011 iCloud music storage fee-based ($25/year) service look like yet another chump's pocketful of small change - and a massive privacy problem, among being part of (likely) last scraps of Jobs' legacy.

I'm an Apple fangirl, and I'm mad as hell. But that's for my next post.

Google Music isn't for shopping. The up-front isn't built for selling or compulsive credit card commitment; it's a tool to make music life easier without proprietary BS.

Music majors and grandma-suing BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) - whom Apple are negotiating with to make deals in Europe for iCloud 2012 - might just have to finally suck it up.

But selecting "Shop For Artist" takes you to a shopping portal. I wonder, will this be deviously developed - how deliciously strategic this could be - when the gates are open?

Sign-in to Google Music is a snap. Gmail authentication, then download the Music Manager. Chime in on my comments if you're a paranoid spyware research dev and have something we should know about. Apple is clearly scanning all uploaded files.

Next, tell Goog Music what to scrape and upload to the cloud: it scrapes your iTunes, or any folders with music files in them. Anytime you request it.

I had just under 2,000 songs and files up in no time. And that was only my old Mac Mini; I am still adding from as many computers as I want. Good times.

After spending the past three weeks trying to get the right versions of iTunes and updates on my three different Apple computers with my iTunes account activated on them to sync so I didn't have to erase my new iPod to add new songs that I had already purchased, this was a vacation.

I might be more tach savvy than your average family member, but with music - I'm really just a consumer and a lover.

Still, my new iPod is refused full access due to computer age, or older/not updated OS. I finally gave up trying to add my new music to my iPod (and having non-iTunes music rejected from newer iTunes versions)... No Born This Way allowed on my new iPod yet.

We Are All Fed Up With iTunes

As I write this, I'm listening to my "Thumbs Up Playlist" that contains Stevie Wonder's "She's A Bad Mamma Jamma" - which is not available in iTunes. Think about it.

Google Music felt like - yes. It should be this easy.

It got easier.

Google Music packs all my hundreds of albums, thousands of mashups, bootlegs, direct-sent files from music artists, and DJ gifts - into its cloud, of course. That means my music is now accessible, all of it, even my playlists created in iTunes were ported in. For use on anything with an Internet connection.

And when not connected, like today when I was on the subway, Goog Music Android App had temporarily cached my recently played music and favorites to my phone, so even offline while underground I had my music on my phone, uninterrupted. I made new playlists on the train to pass the time.

The Android and Apple Google Music apps are free, and one login with your Gmail gets you all your music.

I was also freakily pleased that it didn't drain my battery as much as any given sucktacular Valley-startup Twitter app, and GM was really quite negligible in battery drainage. Someone did something smart.

Right now I've got my Droid phone sending my "thumbs up" playlist to my Zii Sound D5 via Bluetooth across my bedroom (from my bed), though I've been doing the same with my MacBook Air from the Google Music webpage for my account.

Meaning, I don't need to use an app from any computer, just a browser.

All I want to do right now is share my Google Music playlists with my friends, in case anyone wants to let me be DJ while we geeks stay in on a Saturday night.

Top that, iCloud.

* UPDATE: After primary reports of 2K initial songs, Apple's iCloud footnotes claims it will hold up to 25K songs for $24.99/year - requiring upgrade, and with limits. However, it also claims that uploading to Google Music takes "weeks" which is, as I have now experienced, untrue.

Image by Kevin Dooley, under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic license, via Flickr.

Topics: Cloud, Apple, Google

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  • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

    Also want to add: In speculation/rumor on what Goog might charge (after 20K songs) - in Feb 2010 rumor was $25/year *pending* label negotiations as far as was known. However, labels appear to have put Apple negotiations first.

    References: http://t.co/2KjNBmx + http://t.co/WUhbRg5
    Violet Blue
    • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

      @violetblue Sorry, but after blatently trashing all things Apple enough times, I stopped listening to anything you said. I don't know why ZDNet gave you this forum for your obviously biased opinions honestly. I'd appreciate an honest and unbiased (as much as anyone can) review of Google Music, but this ain't it.
  • Nice review

    I do think that this will be like every product google does : starts out as a normal " beta" thing, and then grows with NO limits
    • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

      I have ,ore gmail space than I know what to do with - several accounts depending on audience, googles of gigs.... :D
      • How do you use those GMail 's gigs for music?

        @rhonin -- I don't see the connection...unless you're speaking of sending yourself one track attachment at a time. I would like some unraveling of your point,
  • O/T Am I the only one shocked by a WWDC with little or no "innovation"?

    @violetblue: "Top that, iCloud."

    Except for Jobs' usual showmanship, this was more like a classic Microsoft press event where Ballmer proudly announces how their platform has finally copied a handful of popular features that were previously available on competing products. Apple even managed to screw over a bunch of their developers by stealing their ideas (in at least one case, an idea that had previously been banned from their App Store as unsuitable!). I understand that they diod nothing illegal, but still it's very reminiscent of how Microsoft does business.

    Overall it was very disappointing and not just because there were no new hardware announcements. I kept waiting for a real home run app or a totally off the wall shift for the iOS platforms. Instead, I watched a loooong parade of "me too" apps that we've all seen before. Jobs can call them "great" or "amazing" all he likes, but it doesn't change the fact that Apple was playing catch up...and that's an unusual position for them especially in the mobile space. I would have been less surprised if they put Bill Gates' smiling face on the Jumbotron again.
    Justa Notherguy
    • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

      @Justa Notherguy

      Been doing this using iDisk on an iPhone since 2009 and on Macs since 2000.

      Any music at all and video too.

      You fail at the attempted history rewrite.
    • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

      @Justa Notherguy
      I'd tend to agree with you up until we hit Lion, a lot of which I thought was nice... then again; it could be said that a lot of the new features in Lion aren't exactly 'new'.
    • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

      @Justa Notherguy Name 1 android phone that tops 1 model of iPhone. Name the #1 seller of music iTunes. The most popular portable media player, iPod.
      Everyone since iPhone is playing catch up. Goole is credited with spam and malware on mobile devices and more security holes than Swiss cheese. It's a whore of an os. Piracy and circumvention of law does not make it cool. Just because people feel contemp for the music industry doesn't mean there product should be free. People want a seamless, guilt free secure experience. Release the hate for apple and recognize apple is the top dog.
      • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

        Not knowing how to use "their" (vs "there") = argument credibility fail
      • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

        @rolandrich / jeffsmallwood<br>In additon to Goole, and ***** (whatever that represents) contemp instead of contempt, all show a lack of spelling/typing/proofreading ability and vocabulary.<br>Who cares whether Apple is top dog or not, don't have a media player period, don't plan on getting one, so the whole question is moot. What ever happened to sharing between devices, friends, the old fashioned way--CD's, USB sticks, floppy disks anyone? etc. The cloud won't give me an ability to listen to my choices of music in my vehicle that doesn't have an input for a device, I would like a car radio to accept a DVD with MP3's or even a BluRay disk with MP3's or some other format. On a regular DVD one could put over 5 CD's worth of music. A BRD holds a lot more.<br>If one is in the mood to share a lot, DVD's are a lot more private than anyone's sharing service--untrackable w/o searching your house. I haven't walked around with music blaring since college when I had a 5 in Reel to Reel tape player running on 6 D cells. I on occasion, now, will listen to a radio program on my portable radio (2 AA Cells) (I remember when they used 9v batteries and were based on how many transistors were in the cicuit. I do not do this on a continuous basis--too much trouble to carry and don't want to use headphones or earphones.
        Read a book/magazine/newspaper on your hosted commute, talk to your fellow travelling companions, listen to the radio on your drive to work...We have an excellent classical station here in OKC, or several talk show stations to choose from from politics to sports, or other formats from True Oldies to oldies to classic rock, to Margarita (From Sinatra to Buble), to Country, rockin Country, to old Country, Spanish, etc. I do listen to classical, for two reasons, it is better than what is on 90 % of the other stations and very few comercials, I get frustrated with 5 minutes of commercials, sometimes wanting to go back to the old days of commercials after every song, instead of 30 minutes of music, 10 minutes of commercials and news, then more music. I just switch channels, hoping for more music.
        So I will not be taking advantage anytime soon of either or anyone else's version.
  • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

    Violet... Do you remember the South Park Movie, where you get down to hell and there is Satan, being treated like dog-shit by his lover, Saddam Hussein? That's what Apple is doing to it's 'fan-girls'. You are being used by Bill Gates dumber, younger brother. Steve isn't the man any of us thought he was.....
    • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

      @odysseus93 Another hater of seccess. Just because he wants to wear his eye patch and pirate costume.
      • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review


  • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

    Well Violet, get rid of the iPod and iPhone then go get yourself an Android phone with unlimited internet and use your Google music on it.
  • Numbers?

    Um, make that 20K tunes on iCloud for $25, not 2K.

    • Actually...


      From footnote 2 on your link: "Limit 25,000 songs. iTunes purchases do not count against limit."
      • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

        @msalzberg Exactly!

        25,000 only relates to songs that you obtained "elsewhere," like Limewire, or other illegal means
      • RE: A Quick And Extra-Dirty Music-Lover's Google Music Review

        @msalzberg That was one of the glaring misrepresentations that I notice from a supposed Apple Fan Girl. She also implies that the service costs $25/yr but in truth that is only the case if you choose to use the Match option.
  • Also iCloud is about downloading music not streaming.

    Apple said and showed nothing about streaming music with their iTunes-in-the-Cloud or the vaporous iTunes-Match service. You must download all your music to your iPhone, your iPad, your MacBook etc. in order to listen to any of it. That just means you will have to buy bigger and bigger drives on those devices.

    Consequently Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player are completely different products from iTunes-in-the-Cloud. Google Music is ONLY about streaming.

    Apple brought up the comparison of the services in their presentation, but they really aren't at all comparable.