Ever since I was a kid I have loved music. I remember spending hours sifting through and listening to 45’s (yes, I’m that old). Later on, like many people, I amassed the large number albums, then cassettes, and then CD’s. There was always a few problems I ran into with these:
- Finding the music I wanted to listen to
- Portability or taking my music with me
Then came MP3’s and digital music. I’ve spent the last couple of years slowly transferring my collection to my hard drive and love having all of my music conveniently on one hard drive. It’s organized and easy to search, buying is much simpler (I don’t buy CD’s anymore), and adding songs to my iPod touch made portability easier. But there were still some issues such as:
- Insuring I kept the tens of gigabytes of music backed up. Hard drives crash.
- It won’t all fit on my iPod Touch so I had to pick and choose what I wanted
- MP3 players crash and I’d have to re-transfer a ton of music I wanted.
Then last month Google launched Google Music out of beta, and it was like my music prayers were answered. Their approach is “cloud based”. I uploaded my collection of over 10,000 songs to my account which allows for 20,000 songs to be uploaded for free. Once uploaded, my music is accessible from any internet connected PC or smartphone (Android phones have a Google Music app and iPhones/iOS devices use the mobile Google Music site) to stream my music.
What if I want my music to be available offline? Well, I still have it all on my hard drive or I can make the file(s) available offline by downloading it on my Android phone through the Google Music App.
Buying music is simple and not restrictive. Google also launched their music store through the Android Market Place, but I can also purchase from other places like iTunes or Amazon.com. If I purchase from the other places, I have my Music folder on my hard drive monitored with the Google Music Manager software which automatically uploads the file to my account and is usable. The selection with Google is pretty darn good except for Warner Bros. labels not being present yet, but I’m sure that will change soon. What I like about heir approach to buying is that you don’t have to wait for the file to download, it’s automatically available for streaming and I can choose to download it if I choose to. The files are a bit larger than normal because they use a much higher bitrate for better quality.
In terms of the issues I ran into before, here’s what the difference looks like:
So with Google Music I am able to overcome the issues:
- Storage is easy online in “the cloud”
- No need to worry about crashes or transferring large collections if I get a new PC
- Portability is easy. My entire collection is with me and accessible virtually anywhere/anytime
So if you are a music-lover, this is definitely a service to check out. A little tough to wrap your head around at first I have to admit, but it really incredible and a great great service.
What questions do you have?