Anytime, anywhere access to your music collection just got easier with the launch of Google’s Match & Scan music service in the US. This follows the European launch last month. The music service allows you to store 20,000 songs for free on Google Play. Google Music scans your local library for all tracks and rebuilds the collection in the cloud using Match & Scan and its own index of songs. Users don’t have to physically move gigabytes of their music files from the desktop to the cloud anymore.
With the collection indexed in Google Music, they can be streamed back at 320 kbps through the Google Play music player, and through the Google Play Music app for Android. With this, Google is in direct completion with similar services offered by Apple and Amazon. The major difference is the price – Google is free while the other two biggies charge $25 a year. Beyond the lure of the free price tag, there are some technical differences in the way your songs are streamed back.
Google will not replace your low-fidelity sound files with better sounding ones that you can download back. But it will let you stream them at 320Kbps. That obviously means that you have to be tethered to a web connection to listen to your songs. Apple and Amazon allow the download of high-fidelity songs back to the user machine. Also, do remember that iTunes Match comes with a 25,000 song limit while Amazon is open for a whopping 250,000 songs in its subscription service.