Google Music Puts All Your Tunes Online [Currently US Only]

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google music betaUpload your music to Google’s servers and stream it from anywhere. It’s called Google Music Beta, and it just might change the way you listen to music.

Cloud-based music is nothing new; we’ve discussed alternative cloud-based music in the past. But Google being known for their massive data centers and, well Google being Google, means there is considerable excitement around their music project.¬†It’s warranted. Uploading your music to Google is a bit of pain, but Google Music is useful as soon as your songs are there. Even the uploading process is relatively painless thanks to a well thought out uploading tool.¬†But the real highlight here is the web-based interface.

Web Based Playback

First of all, this service is invite-only right now. You can sign up at¬†Google Music but the invite took a couple of weeks to get to me. It seems to be US only right now, but I’m sure this will change.

Open Google Music for the first time and you’ll be offered a bit of free music. There are some cool songs here. If you’re the sort of person who like entire albums, not individual songs, I’d suggest you say no.¬†After that you’ll have access to the music player. The first thing you’ll see is the latest songs you’ve added to the service:

google music beta

This can be fun during the uploading process; you’ll see which of your albums made it up most recently. If you want an overview of your entire collection however, I suggest browsing by artist:

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google music

As you can see, covers from every album you have from a particular artist show up. This makes visual browsing easy. Click on an artist and you’ll see the albums, as a playlist:

google music

Click a song to start playing. It’s worth pointing out that you can also browse your entire library in one list if you like, and you can create custom playlists.¬†Everything runs so smoothly you’ll forget the service is in a browser.

Another highlight is the Android app for the service:

As you can see, it’s well integrated. Sadly there’s no iOS app yet, but hopefully this is coming.

Uploading Tool

Okay, so the service is good once your songs are uploaded. How is uploading the songs? Relatively painless. You simply install a piece of software, and tell Google how you want your music synced. Users of iTunes and Windows Media Player can sync with those programs. Alternatively, Google can scan a particular folder.

I’m getting a lot of songs that fail to upload however, most of which seem to be OGG files. This is odd, because Google Music does support OGG files in theory, but there you have it. I’m sure more of these bugs will be worked out as the service continues to grow.

One nice feature – any new music you add to your library or folder will automatically go to Google as well. This means your music collection stays up to date when you make new purchases.

Pros & Cons

google music beta

The cloud is getting bigger every day, and Google’s at the forefront. When the search company offered a gigabyte of storage with Gmail for free in 2004, it was unheard of. Now they’re letting people upload 20,000 songs to their server and stream them from anywhere.

But Gmail didn’t just change email forever because of the storage offered. They made a few changes to how email works, and consequently made email better. Quick search for all messages and labels are just a few early innovations.

Google Music doesn’t offer anything revolutionary from an interface perspective. It’s very clean and lets you find what you’re looking for quickly. Music on the web hasn’t been done better, but Google Music can also compete head-on with any music player.

I’ll say this – Google Music is better than any of the alternatives I’ve looked into, but only time will tell if people like it better than Apple or Amazon’s offerings in the same realm.

Have you tried Google Music yet? Let us know in the comments below. Also feel free to discuss whether the future of music will be in the cloud or not.

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11 Comments - Write a Comment


Shane Lear

I started using Google Music Beta about a month ago and I have grown to really love it. ¬†I’ve manually uploaded several dozen albums and I was surprised at how quickly I could do so. ¬†Now that I have over 6,000 songs, I can play my music library from any browser, but most importantly from my Android. ¬†

Already, I’ve found myself no longer using my iPod or Foobar2000 music player, opting instead to log into Music Beta. ¬†I agree with you that the interface is really nice and simple, a’ la Gmail and other Google pages.

It does take a little getting used to at first, but now it’s basically the only way I listen to music. ¬†Google, in my opinion, has really changed the game by once again, adding yet another vital service to the Cloud. ¬†

Local file saving is quickly becoming obsolete and antiquated, thanks to Google and services like Music Beta.  I hope everybody gives it a try.



Fat chance of giving it a try if you’re not American!


Jake Shakespeare

Thank you for mentioning in the title that this applies to the US only. As a Canadian Google-boy I knew that the music service was not available here, but I am sick to death of wasting time reading long blog articles about wonderful new services only to find when I try them that they don’t exist outside of the US. Most blog writers seem to believe that the world = the continental US. Thank you for considering the rest of us; I wish other bloggers would emulate you.

Meena Bassem

i agree with you about that , and the USA is not the world.


Matthew Bakke

But America is the world.

Juanjo Vargas

America is a continent


Michal Charv√°t

Can somebody tell me, why this Google Music thing should be better than eg. Grooveshark?

Paul Werner

I don’t see how it’s better than AudioGalaxy either



You just need a vpn to get an invitation, then the service itself will work in any part of the world :)

Mark O’Neill

Agreed. I tried it with a US proxy server and I got through right away. (I’m in Germany). ¬†So there are ways around the restrictions. ¬†I don’t know what Google would do though if they found out what you did.

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