Thoughts on Google Music

Photo ripped from CNET.com

  Google Music was just released and I just downloaded the “Music Manager” and played around a bit with the site and have a few thoughts.

It was a pretty good promotional tactic for Google to use my favorite band Pearl Jam to entice me to sign up for the service.  Users who signed up yesterday could download a free bootleg from their 20th Anniversary Tour.  If I hadn’t mistakenly clicked the option to upload my entire iTunes folder to Google Music after the initial install, the download would have been a bit faster, but it still finished in a relatively short amount of time.

I encountered a problem right off the bat when I tried to pause or cancel the upload of my iTunes folder to Google Music.  The problem was there was no option to pause or cancel!  Hopefully this will be fixed in the future.  It possibly was left out on purpose to entice more people to move to this service rather than iTunes, which is a pretty good idea, but very poor in execution.  I have 7,000 songs on one PC and I can’t imagine how long it would take to upload all of those songs with my slow DSL upload speed.  The service also automatically continues with the upload upon opening if you close the software and go back in.

The other problem I ran into was as an iPhone user, there’s not an official Google iPhone application to use with the service.  This is definitely by design as on the “About” page they mention it is free to use for Android users. Darn it.  I’m also noticing another problem as far as choppiness when listening to the music online.  With Spotify, this NEVER happens to me.  However, the way to remedy that is to download the music to your PC, but that sort of negates the point of the service.  I also noticed a bit of a brand consistency issue with the color scheme.  Google Music uses a gray and orange color scheme, while everything else Google does is in their typical rainbow color scheme.  It’s a minor thing, but I thought it was a little surprising.

I definitely like that it is FREE, with the only downfall seemingly being that I have to upload all of my own music rather than it being there already like on Spotify or iTunes.  Google has taken some of iTunes, some of Spotify, some of Amazon and put it into one nice package to go along with their myriad of other web apps.  I’m leery of how many people will convert to 100% Google Music useage from iTunes, but iTunes has such a huge market share it can’t hurt to try to capitalize on some of that huge market potential. 

What will be the next step though?  Will they be able to integrate YouTube movies with the Music Manager or will they keep them separate?  Will they be able to maintain as good of a music catalog as iTunes?  It will definitely be interesting to find out how it goes in the coming months.

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