Google’s Music Beta, a review

So after a few weeks I finally received my invitation to participate in Google Music Beta. The music beta offers a free service where you can upload up to 20,000 music files to the cloud. Upon logging in for the first time, accepting the terms of use and privacy policy, you are asked if you would like to receive free songs for a wide array of genres. Once your are taken to your music dashboard you there are songs waiting, based on the selected genres you chosen. I ended up with 160 files. There is music management software that is available for windows and mac. Once downloaded and installed, you are asked where you store your files. You can choose itunes or file system. After choosing itunes as an example it scans your files and begins uploading. Since I have a large collection, I received the message that over 20,000 files were found, and uploading will continue until quota is reached.

Now onto the performance, much like was stated in the recent Apple keynote announcing the icoud service, the uploaded process is going to take more than 3 days at the current rate. I began the upload process at 11:30 AM, at 1,988 files were uploaded, minus the 160 that were already present based on music preference.

There are currently only two methods of streaming your music, through the web browser or through the Android application. Since I have multiple iOS devices, Android is not an option. The music streaming service seems to work pretty well so far. There are multiple options for playing albums, single songs, shuffling all, repeating. Once expected feature is the ability to move forward to the next song or back to the previous song by clicking the arrows on your keyboard. There are auto playlists, instant mixes, and playlists. I have found that playlists get imported automatically from your iTunes account.

There is a search function that allows you to locate files in your library. So far it works pretty well. Another interesting fact is that the number of times a file has been played, even from your iTunes account. There is also the ability to New and Recent, Songs, Artists, Albums and Genres.

The following is an example of the preferences pane:

I will provide an update soon, once all the files have been updated and I have had an opportunity to explore the features in a little more depth.