Google is hot Apple’s heels with the launch of Google Music, the company’s cloud-based online music service. Google Music is now available to U.S. residents and includes song and album sales and full integration with Google+, the social networking site launched by Google earlier this year.
How Much Will it Cost?
Google Music is 100% free to all users and includes access on mobile devices, desktops and on the web. Google limits the number of songs to 20,000 excluding purchased tunes.
iTunes Match costs $24.99 per year and a 25,000 song limit excluding purchased iTunes music. Your albums are available on all iOS devices.
Where Will I Buy Music?
Google Music is purchased online in a format similar to iTunes. One of the biggest issues is that it lacks a shopping cart and you must purchase tracks and albums separately. You can’t batch them together for purchases later. Google Music users will be able to buy albums and songs from all major music labels except for Warner. Afterwards they will be able to share the songs and albums with Google+ friends who will be able to play songs in their entirety, not just samples.
We are all familiar with iTunes and they’ve been around since 2003. Purchasing, finding and sampling music is extremely simple. iTunes Match is the clear winner when it comes to how you purchase your songs and albums. Apple has a massive library of music with over twenty million to date. Google clearly has some catching up to do in this case.
Uploading and Downloading Songs
Google Music provides users with a file uploading utility called Music Manager. It can integrate with iTunes and monitor your iTunes account to upload new tracks and match existing albums, etc. The program runs continuously in the background and uploads tracks and albums as they come in. Google Music clearly fails when it comes to downloading according to Mashable. Users are only allowed to download tracks from the website program twice. The Music Manager allows users to download all of their files however. It looks like a confusing process.
iTunes Match becomes worth the $24.99 annual fee when it comes to uploading and downloading your music. Your tracks are automatically matched with the iTunes library of over 20 million songs. It uploads un-matched songs to the cloud for playback later. Another great feature is that your matched music will play back from the cloud in crystal clear 256-Kps quality even if your original quality lacked.
Who is the Winner?
If you are a die-hard Apple fan and use Apple devices iTunes Match is clearly the winner as music is easily synced between all devices. Google Music is compatible with Android and other browsers and all users can use a well-designed HTML5 app player but there isn’t offline playback. We think iTunes Match is the way to go for all of your cloud-based music listening.
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