A few months ago, more precisely in May, Google announced the launch of its own cloud-based music service, Google Music, which in a nutshell, is an online storage platform where you can upload and save your music collection to access it whenever you want. Google Music or Music Beta, as it is currently known, gives you access to your music library from any computer or Android devices, and Google has just announced the launch of a web app for iOS devices. In difference with services like Amazon Cloud Drive, Google's music service boasts an amazing storage capacity of 20,000 songs and is currently free, with no apparent restrictions (other than being on the US). That is, you can play songs and albums as many times as you like. Neat!
To get started at Music Beta by Google you need, of course, a Google account and this little client app called MusicManager, which you can download after signing in to your Music Beta account. The MusicManager is a software client whose essential function is help you upload your music to Google servers. The application has a straightforward interface where you simply select the music you want to upload, either from your iTunes library, Windows Media Player, your default music folder, or just any other folder of your choice, and send it to the cloud. The 'advanced' tab offers some additional options, for example, you can have the app to monitor certain folders and, as new music is added, MusicManager will upload it to your online library automatically or at set intervals. From this 'advanced' tab it is also possible to determine the bandwidth you want to assign to uploads.
Once in Music Beta, you will see that the the web app has a clean, standard interface, and looks pretty much like most online music players; a navigation panel to the left and basic controls at the bottom of the screen. It organizes your music by albums, artists, and genre and is also able to create auto playlists. It allows you to sort your music into custom playlists too and has an interesting function called 'instant mix', which generates a random playlist taking a song of your choice as the starting point. The service also offers the possibility of playing selected songs offline and automatic, instant sync across devices.
Google's cloud-based music service is currently free, but sadly, it is available in the United States only.
- Great storage capacity
- Lots of free songs and albums
- The upload client is really easy to use
- Now available to iOS
- Limited to users within the US only