Review: Google Music
Review: Google Music
google-music-beta

Google Music looks like a godsend for accessing your entire music library anywhere there is an Internet connection. I know there’s been days I’ve been stuck somewhere overnight or on vacation with nothing but my gigabyte limited iPhone and Pandora to make up for it. Now, just sign into Google Music from any computer or Wi-Fi enabled device and there’s your sleepy-time or party playlist. Since Google had some trouble with cooperation from the record labels to open up their own full-fledged music store, we now have a cloud based music conglomerate. Currently in beta, the service is invite only. I’ve already sent my invites out, but no fear, I have you covered with the pros and cons for when yours arrives.

Pros:

It’s always there! I love the accessibility from nearly everywhere. Any browser equipped device can access your Google account, always keeping your Music account available. Install Music Manager to any computer where you keep your music and it all goes to the same place. Android users have their own app for even quicker access. I don’t have an Android device so I couldn’t test out the platform. If you have, please leave a comment below with what you think!

All of your favorite abilities on iTunes and/or Spotify are in Google Music too. You can listen according to what you’ve recently added to your library, artist, album, or genre. Give your songs a “thumbs up” and they are automatically put in a play list of your favorite songs. Much like iTunes Genius, create a playlist by selecting one song and it will build future tracks from songs just like it.

Free music! Upon activating your account, Google Music will ask you to pick your favorite genres so it can offer you free tunes accordingly. Who doesn’t like free stuff?

The simplicity of the layout really grabbed me. Listeners can go with an album picture view or traditional list of songs assorted however you feel works. Each pre-loaded or customized category is easily accessible at all times, so there’s no need to press the back button on your browser at any point.

Cons:

The Music Manager really slowed down my Internet during the upload process. Google does warn you those of us with a larger playlist could face a longer upload time, but virtually all of my Internet browsing was handicapped. I’m uploading close to 3,600 songs going on 4 or 5 days now, which is a long time to have to deal with slow loading GIFs, for god’s sake!

While Google Music uploads MP3, AAC, WMA and FLAC files, it will not upload M4P or M4A, leaving people who primarily buy music through iTunes in a bit of a loss. It also lumped my podcasts in with my songs, making me seek out whether or not something is new or there at all.

While simple, the layout could still offer the staple Google wormhole, where you are looking for a certain website but it leads you to another just as helpful. I’m suggesting a, “You may also like” feature while listening, leading to a Google search where you could find the new band’s website, or preview their music. Right now, we are sequestered into what we feed the machine. Hopefully, enhancements like this will be added once the beta grows.

The three Cons above were really all the problems I had, bravo Google. If you noticed any bugs or don’t like a feature, please leave a comment!

As of right now, the service is free with an allotment of 20,000 songs. There’s no telling if Google will impose some kind of payment plan for users who go over, or any kind of monthly free once the beta label drops. If they do, it shouldn’t cost much since extra storage for Gmail chimes in at $5 a month. Google is embarking in the right direction with Dropbox and Amazon Cloud, proposing a supplement to your music library instead of trying to replace it altogether. After the initial hump of getting your music uploaded, it moves from song to song smoothly, and doesn’t tax your computer with background programs like iTunes.  While the service continues to grow, I expect to see a lot more interaction with discovering new music and other streaming services. Maybe Google will finally break the mold of streaming our music without a subscription, an issue even Pandora has not solved short of making us pay to listen to music for a prolonged period of time, most of which we already have on our own players at better quality. Time will tell.

Overall, it is worth trying to convince someone to hand over an invite or plunging your email into the pools of the Google Music invite site. Look out, friends, you may be subjected to Rebecca Black’s “Friday” at any moment’s notice.

 Lauren Mack: Co-founder of The Well Written Woman is an aspiring writer, blogger, and overall  enthusiast of brainstorms. She is currently attending Flagler College as an English major with no  intentions to teach. Lauren spends a lot of time reading novels and hoping she can one day finish her own.  She often wonders how they made blue cheese so delicious. Really, she is just imposing her elitist attitude on  everyone.You can find her pennings at her blog and follow her on Twitter.

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