Nov 17, 2011
Google Music is finally exiting beta and finally entering the public usability phase! The service is now available to everyone through the Google Music website, and through the Android app. The Android Market will now sell music as well, with an Android Market update rolling out to users over the next few weeks. There are over 13 million tracks available in the store; unsurprisingly, pop hits currently are on top of the chart. Already. Though, the Google Music editors are featuring some diverse music, including giving away a free David Bowie track, and featuring an album by southern metalheads Black Tusk.
Quite surprisingly, the music uploading service will remain free as beer; this outshines Amazon Cloud Drive’s limited storage, and Apple’s service which does require payment to upload songs. The low, low, cost of free could be what helps to push Google’s music service on the public, though iTunes Match’s ability to not have to upload many songs will help them as well. Users can also share songs through Google+, and songs purchased through the store can be shared in full to Google+ users, though they can only play a song once for free.
Most importantly, this means that Google is now in the business of one of the big pillars of media, and it addresses a gaping hole in the Android Market. With videos and books already addressed, now the store is complete with music to go along with apps. Google is directly putting themselves in competition with iTunes, and they are making their operating system much closer in terms of features to iOS devices. This was a necessary move for Google.
For Android users, Google Music being a public service could be a gamechanger. Many of the bugs in the Beta have been worked out; the service works much better on the Samsung Captivate than it did during the beta, with many issues worked out. Users looking to check it out can get started by downloading the Music Manager software from the Google Music website.