Thursday, May 12, 2011

Google Music Beta on the Cr-48

I was lucky enough to get a Google Music Beta Invite last night and I've had a few hours to play with it on the Cr-48 and my Windows laptop. In a previous post, I took a look at Amazon's Cloud Player on the Cr-48. I'm not one for lengthy in depth reviews but I figured I'd offer some pros and cons I see with Google's Music offering so far. If you've got questions I didn't cover, post them in the comments and I'll do my best.


  • Google's web based music player offers a better experience than Amazon's in my opinion. With Amazon's player, I couldn't find an easy way to see my current playlist and pretty much everything is read only, no editing song details or playlists. Google's player allows you to create playlists and will even automagically create them based on your selected favorite song.
  • Being integrated with your Google Account, Music Beta Player keeps you logged in pretty much all the time. Amazon's Cloud Player would log me out after a few hours and I'd need to re-enter my password.
  • Google's made a point to be sure no one's outdoing them on cheap cloud storage. 20,000 songs is a lot. I have 1,200 in my collection right now, doubt I'll ever fill Google Music where even Amazon's 20gb offering after purchasing an album could be to little for me.
  • Performance on the Cr-48 is pretty good!
  • The Google Music Beta Music Manager application for uploading your songs is Windows / Mac only. No Linux or Web support. It's understandable that they didn't release a native app for every platform but a web based Flash or HTML5 upload option would have been nice.
  • There's no way to purchase music and add it directly to your Google Music Library. You'll need to either purchase it from iTunes (DRM free version only) or Amazon MP3 and then upload via the Manager app. Doesn't look like we're in a "living in the cloud" world just yet with Google Music.
  • This is a minor technical issue most users won't notice or care about but I was rather annoyed to have the Music Manager app prompt me for my Google Account username and password when solutions like OAuth for Installed Apps exist and are strongly recommended by Google. Seems Google didn't follow their own recommendations on this one.
All in all, Google Music Beta looks pretty great. I hope Google continues to add improve the service as time goes on.


  1. Thanks for the review, Jay, I enjoyed it.

    How did you go about scoring an invite? I signed up for one on Tuesday . . .

    Where did you hear the term automagically? Or did you coin it? If you coined it, my compliments, and I will probably be stealing it, regularly. :)

    So Google's storage is 20k songs, rather than a set xGB?

    I'm really looking forward to trying it out.

  2. I am just curious how the 'uploading' works if anyone knows? There are many services out there like this already, Amazon's notwithstanding. Some of them basically just ID your music and give you access to that music in THEIR library. Others will actually upload your music in its entirety (possible bad encoding and all) and strictly gives you access to that.

    Any ideas which Google Music does? I seriously detest the full upload option. Even with a 1mbit upload it takes forever even with a modest library.

  3. Chala, my understanding is that Google Music does require the full upload . . . :-/ I hope someone says otherwise.

    Maybe we can do the eternal upload, while we're asleep, or on vacation?

  4. Does it keep track of play counts and star ratings? Does it have smart playlists? I want to quit iTunes!

  5. FWIW, I got the uploader working in WINE on my Ubuntu 11.04 box.