Google Music Gets Update

Google Music Gets Update

Feb 4, 2016

Google Play Music is getting an update; this one seems to be related bug fixes.

Per Google Play:

WHAT’S NEW

v6.3.2317V
* After listening to Code Your Face Off radio (https://goo.gl/VHnzN0), our engineers fixed a bunch of bugs including one related to resuming songs over Bluetooth

Google Play Music is available as a subscription service.

Google Music’s Deactivation Fiasco and the Failure of “Anti-Piracy” Systems

Google Music’s Deactivation Fiasco and the Failure of “Anti-Piracy” Systems

May 18, 2012

Google Music users have recently run into an issue where they were hitting the maximum of ten devices activated for the service. Now, how are people hitting this limit? Who really has 10 different devices to use Google Music on? I would struggle to hit that limit, and I’m some kind of arch-nerd!

Well, the problem is actually that for users who install new ROMs on their Android phones, downloading and activating on the new install often means adding a new device is added to the account, though it’s really just the same device. Google does let users deactivate devices from their account, but only 4 per year.

Why this arbitrary limit? Apparently the media companies they are now in bed with are concerned about people activating many devices on one account, and don’t want many devices being switched in and out. Because if they could activate and deactivate at will, then music piracy would run rampant! Because it isn’t already!

The limit has temporarily been lifted due to user complaints. The solution seems to be either identify devices by IMEI, so that reinstalls of system software don’t take up the limit, or to perhaps do a blanket deactivation, as with iTunes accounts – just have a button to deactivate all devices at once. Or, just eliminate all limits, because seriously, this is likely only putting a very small dent in the ‘problem’ of music piracy. In fact, this seems like a rather novel way to share large collections of music.

It’s funny that this story comes out this week, after all, Diablo 3 ran into issues where trying to prevent piracy was affecting legitimate users. The official servers were overloaded with users trying to sign on right at launch, even for singleplayer play, because all characters were stored on Blizzard’s services. Yet, reports are out that the game has already been cracked, allowing anyone who pirates the game to play without being required to log in.

Gabe Newell once said that the way to beat piracy is to be more convenient than piracy. It’s why Netflix is so popular – it’s affordable and extremely convenient for its huge library of content. Some giant companies just still don’t get it.

Google Music Leaves Beta, Now Open to Public

Google Music Leaves Beta, Now Open to Public

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.

Google Music Beta Impressions

Google Music Beta Impressions

Jun 6, 2011

Google’s remote music storage beta program is entering full swing, as more invites roll out to users. Here is what users of the beta can expect as they get to try out the service:

  • Music Uploading
  • Google offers a Music Manager to download, that offers the ability to upload music based on iTunes library, Windows Media Player library, the My Music folder, or other folders on the hard drive. Unlike Amazon’s Cloud Drive service, Google has no problem with especially large music collections – and buying a 99 cent Lady Gaga album solely for additional space is not necessary. My music collection is over 7500 songs strong, and Google’s music uploader’s response? “Sure, throw ’em at me! I’m a big boy, I can handle it!” It might take several days to upload, but Google will take it. The app’s remote library updates as songs are uploaded, as well. It is not possible to upload music to a Google Music account from the phone.

  • The App Experience
  • Once in the Music Beta, and the Music app is installed from the Market, all that needs to be done is to connect to the Music Beta with the Google Account that was registered for the beta. Remote music will appear as it is uploaded to Google, and then can be played like any other song on the phone, and upcoming songs can even be queued up by the app. There is a short loading delay as unqueued songs start, and as the album art is downloaded. Google automatically adds album art it can find for tracks without that data. There’s some minor but noticeable compression on songs streamed via the service. It is possible to filter between all available music and music just available locally on the phone, as well. It isn’t possible to delete or edit data for tracks, neither local nor remote, though this is possible from the web interface. The web interface (which does work on Mobile Safari, for iOS owners) does support these, so it just needs to come to the Android app. Otherwise, it works just as would be expected for an Android music app, just with the ability to play music stored on Google’s servers.

  • Glitches and Issues
  • This is still a beta, so some glitches are to be expected, but there’s a few particularly odd ones, beyond the odd crashes. The most annoying one is that songs will often start replaying as they’re done, and the timer will go beyond what the song length is. This messes up song queueing in shuffle, as skipping to the next track loads up a song that generally isn’t being queued for download. This download queueing is an option that can be disabled in settings. There’s no equalizer option, and the thumbs up/down available on the website isn’t available from the app, either. There are no buttons available on the notification bar like the built-in music player, either. If a single song is picked from the Songs menu, it appears to be impossible to use that as the starting point for shuffling all songs, as no repeat/shuffle controls pop up; this seems like a glitch, as the repeat option should appear. However, the song repeating issue is the most annoying, especially since it makes playing music in a vehicle a potentially annoying proposition.

    Overall, I’m satisfied with the service, although the app has a lot of kinks to work out, that should hopefully be addressed in updates soon, and definitely by the time the service goes live. Users can sign up for the Google Music beta at this link, and those in the beta can download the Music Manager software and access their library from the same URL. Click here to download the new Music Beta app.