Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Google Music - What is it and should you get it?

I've been using Google Music for a couple of weeks now and thought it best to share my experiences. Few people I know have heard of Google Music, let alone use it. This is bound to be different in the US (let me know) but either way Google Music is still very fresh and young into a established market despite being around for about a year in the US already. Anyway, for those that don't know - what is Google Music and why should you be interested?

Google Music is effectively Cloud-based music. It allows you to listen to one collection of music - wherever you are. Google Music is giving further purpose to the ever-growing Android Play Store and you can also upload music on your computer and almost instantly listen on your Android tablet or phone. Google limits you to 20,000 songs initially.

It got off to a good start in my eyes because the app put a 'next track' option in the notification bar on my HTC One X. (something HTC inexcusably forgot!) The app is clean, clear and has a nice UI which adopts in a Android-style 'slide across' function which works with beautiful efficiency.
      Setting yourself up on Google Music is a bit of effort, but it is effort worth putting in because once everything is in place - the system works beautifully efficiently. The 'music manager' that needs to be downloaded on the desktop is effectively just an uploader to the cloud but works quietly and effectively in the background.

So far I've been frustrated that the music on my phone and tablet does not seem to be easily synced the other way but that is a minor inconvenience at the moment. Despite this and a few other teething problems the future looks bright for Google Music and competitors should be wary. With the continuing growth of the Android OS - the cross-platform liquid syncing is very appealing.

The beauty of Android is that it's not hard to move music around (take note Apple) so Google Music, for the moment at least, is really just for those with multiple Android devices. There aren't loads of us at the moment but the Nexus range will do a lot to change that. That doesn't mean for one minute that you should avoid Google Music - just that to really see the benefits you need to stretch the Cloud! Obviously if you're using other devices or platforms, Google Music probably isn't for you - yet.

Oh - did I mention - being Google, this is of course all free!

Thanks for reading. Have you used Google Music - or will you be in the future? What are your initial thoughts?

Stay tuned - my next blog will be a technology guide for Christmas...

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