Google Music Catching Up To Apple
May 18, 2011
Last week Google branched into the music world and went live with its Google Music beta, allowing you to upload 20,000 music files to the cloud, then stream it to your Android device. This announcement was a part of this year’s Google I/O, the annual developer conference to discuss the next generation of Web, mobile and enterprise applications with Google. Not surprisingly, this also follows Amazon’s recent release of the similar Cloud Drive.
With Google Music, your music and playlists are automatically kept in sync. Even if you create a playlist on your phone, it will be instantly available on your computer or tablet. A feature called Instant Mix allows you to create a playlist of songs to that go well together. When you’re offline, your most recently played music is automatically stored on your Android device and you can choose to make specific albums or playlists available when you’re not connected. Another way to listen offline is caching your songs onto an SD card. This allows you to wirelessly sync your music to your PC.
Soon Google Music will have a stand-alone PC application that will allow you to sync content, create playlists and download music similar to how you do it with iTunes. I can foresee this becoming very appealing to music lovers who hate Apple. This is the content that you Android users have been waiting for. You will no longer need a third-party application to sync and control your music library. Now Google has an app for that!
Register to join the Google Music beta at music.google.com. It may take a while for you to receive an account, but take advantage of this while it’s free. Who knows how much they will charge when it comes out of the beta stage. Note, if do you have an Android device, you can download and install the Music app on your phone immediately, however you won’t be able to access all the features until Google grants you an invitation.
Another big announcement with Google I/O was the addition of movies to the Android Market. You can choose from thousands of movies starting at $1.99, and once you download a movie, it is viewable across all your Android devices. Google also released an update to the Verizon XOOM customers, and it will be included in the Android 2.2 and above devices in the coming weeks. It sounds like Google is trying to mirror iTunes with all this.
Over the past two and a half years, Google shipped eight releases of the Android operating system, and already they’re talking about the next version - Ice Cream Sandwich. The goal with Ice Cream Sandwich is to deliver one operating system that works everywhere, regardless of which device you’re using. It will bring everything you love about the current operating system Honeycomb, including the holo-graphic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets.
As an Apple snob, I haven’t been that enthusiastic about Android products because of the lack of content. But things are looking up. Now I’m actually looking forward to seeing how much more Android will evolve.
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