Is it just me or is Google’s under performing music service “Google Music” one of the company’s best kept secrets? Many, if you told them about the service, have probably never even heard of it or have no idea what differentiates the service from say iTunes. And most if they ever did, would probably react with eye rolls and sighs. So for the digital laggards out there who say, “I already have iTunes, what’s the point to getting Google Music?” Here are six benefits you can’t get with iTunes.
1. Your Music Everywhere
To the Apple junky who says, “Um, what about iTunes Match?” I’m here to say it sucks. For one it costs money – $25/year – and who really wants to do that? Also, it only pulls down content from iCloud that was purchased from iTunes, unless you spend $25/year to match music purchased elsewhere. With Google Music, you can upload 20,000 songs of your own music in Google’s cloud storage – for free – to access anywhere with an Internet connection.
On top of all of this, all names changes, art work imports, playlists, play counts, “thumbed up” songs are synced across everything. Because it’s centralized, only one edit is required to update everywhere.
I think the most important part, is that Google has eliminated the, “I wish I had my iPod moment at a party.” Anyone who has an Internet connection can access your library and playlists anywhere with one simple log in. Had a killer playlist for your friend’s party? Access it easily.
2. Access 20,000 songs from your Android
If you have an Android device, failing to download this app doesn’t make sense. If you only have a 2GB SD Card on your phone and have over 2 GB of music, now up to a 20,000 song library, which could be more than 100GB of music is available on your device. No more picking and choosing. Get everything.
Worried about not having 3G? Every song you listen to is immediate cached for offline use, or you can choose which songs are “pinned” – meaning downloaded – to your device. You can later un-pin the content and pin future music.
3. Get 320 kbps in Android Market
iTunes swears their 256 kbps is better than 320, I’m here to say it isn’t. Also, on average Android’s Music store, which is how you purchase music to download to Google Music, offers it for a cheaper price than the iTunes store on average, at a better bit rate, and is available instantly – no download wait times. One caveat I will concede. They are missing Warner Music Group, but this won’t last forever. So if you ever did want to download a copy of your purchases, you can do that too.
Also, if you’re an aspiring artist. There’s an avenue for you to reach followers and sell your music. For a startup cost of $25 you can create your own artist page, upload music, share and sell. It’s that easy.
4. Lightweight Desktop Music Player
I’ve gotten tired with how bloated the iTunes music player has become. It takes forever to start up, is clunky, and offers several features I don’t really need. Genius is okay, but Google Music has this feature as well, and it’s pretty solid. Google calls this feature “Instant Mixes.”
The benefit to Google Music’s player is that you don’t have to download it. Because it’s web-based, it loads like any other web page. This serves two purposes: speed and accessibility. The player loads faster and it’s anywhere you can login to it.
5. Music Manager
What about all the music I already have? Google has an app for that too. By downloading this very lightweight application – 40 MB to iTunes’ 140 MB – now you can upload all of your content purchased or imported from iTunes into Google Music – that is if you’ve bought iTunes content after March 2009, when iTunes stopped DRM locking their content.
6. Get Social with Google+
This feature, which could become more important as both Google+ and Google Music grow, is social endorsements. If you just bought a song in the Android Market, you can now share this with friends and actually “gift” a song or album to them. This gives them the chance to listen to the song/album once, to determine if they will buy. Pretty great.
So get your head out of the sand. Google Music is here to stay – I use it literally daily. On my Android phone in my car or the music player in my apartment. We’ve all had a spell cast on us by Apple and it’s time to wake up.