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Sunday, February 26, 2012

I really don't know clouds at all

Google wangles its way even further into our life this week as we upload our music to Google Music. With it, we should be able to call up any song in our music library, from any computer or smart phone, 24/7/366. You can store 20,000 songs on the Google server for free. The upload takes quite a while -- measured in days -- but it's getting there, in the background.

If, like us, you have collected more music than that substantial amount, at least for now you can't go past the 20,000 barricade, as there's no "pay to upgrade" option.

So far, the thing works great on our computers, and although they're a little clunky, the phone apps will doubtlessly get better with time. Is there a downside we're not seeing?

From Google's standpoint, in addition to advancing its campaign toward world domination, it provides a chance to sell recorded music to consumers, much the way Apple has been doing with iTunes. Will the Googs eventually start inserting ads into the playback streams, the way Spotify does? Will they somehow drag us before the copyright police for some transgression or other? Will they get us used to the service, and then start charging for it?

In the meantime, we've got a huge chunk of our music library on the phone. That could put a serious hurt on our relationship with Pandora.

Comments (5)

If the 20,000 limit doesn't work for you, then you may consider Amazon MP3. It also allows you to upload your music, and offers players in a browser, as well as on your phone. They give you a big chunk of storage space for free, and allow you to buy more very inexpensively. They also have a clear business model -- they try to get you to buy future music from them, which is automatically added to your cloud storage, and doesn't count against your storage space limitations.

Google does the same thing with the space limits. What you buy from them doesn't count toward your limit.

I went for iTunes Match. $29/year, and it smartly matches the songs you've got on your PC with stuff from the iTunes catalog, and makes them available to your devices. If you have stuff that isn't recognized, or isn't in the iTunes catalog, it uploads just those tracks. No days of uploads unless you have a huge collection, or very esoteric taste.

Not so good if you're running Android / BlackBerry / WP7, but works fantastic with Windows / Mac / iOS 5. I can listen to whatever I want out of my collection at work, without having to plug devices.

Is there a Google Music app for the iPhone? I haven't found one for the iPad yet. I LOVE Google Music. It's the one thing holding me back from jumping on an iPhone.

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