Google Music Review
- Category: Tech Soup
- Published: Tuesday, 31 May 2011 15:47
We like Google Music. It’s fast, easy and offers plenty of storage allowing up to 20,000 tracks to be added to your collection in the cloud.
There are some early quirks. For example, if you have music from the same album in different folders on your PC the service will create multiple albums with the same artwork in the cloud. Also, the upload process lost track of the number of songs we uploaded and seemed to give up counting at 6,324. When we added another round of tracks the upload worked without freezing.
We also uploaded some mixes we made that were about 110 minutes long. Google takes these no problem. So it doesn't appear there is a time limit on tracks or any specific metadata in the track that is required to upload it. It simply shows up as a track or mix without any album art.
The best thing about Music by Google is the speed. It’s very impressive that we can search by artist, album, track and genre in near real time. The GUI is really simple on both the PC and Droid. With a solid 3G connection on two different Droid phones the experience is almost instant. We do think we’ll see some intelligent caching mechanisms that will make the experience even better. Currently the music streams with very few hiccups but they are annoying when it happens. Sound quality is good.
We mostly tested the service using the Droid but the music player for desktop isn’t too bad. It’s all cloud based and it may seem silly to access your music this way when you’re at the source but now you can grab it from any PC and create instant mixes. Google needs to add more intelligence to the mix function. Even with our large collection of music it uses to many songs by the same artist in a 25 track mix. Surely it could allow us to customize this more, add a social engine and overall have more fun with this. Perhaps a recommendation engine and store are in the works. However, label and publisher deals are never easy and every service has different terms so we'll just hope for the best.
The funny thing is, as much as we love the speed of Google’s Music app on the Droid and generally think it works pretty well, this past memorial weekend we accessed Mog more than our own collection. It seems music discovery is trumping our catalog on the funkyfresh front.
We have a feeling something may be in the works in Cupertino that will address both catalog and discovery for an optimum user experience. We’ll see. For now, Google Music and Mog is a pretty potent combo. Visit Google Music for more information.