June 7, 2011

iTunes in the Cloud Versus Google Music Beta, Fight!

I finally received my Google Music Beta invitation the same day Apple unveiled iCloud. Coincidence? I think not.

Observations so far:

Google Music is completely free. It doesn't care where you acquired your music (ripped, purchased from iTunes, Beatport, Audiojelly etc., or pirated), it uploads your music regardless. This process is a bit slow. I'm only syncing 80 gb of music, and at this rate, it will take a full week of continuous uploading to sync it with Google. They have a limit of 20,000 songs.

Getting the process started is really easy. You're given the option to either sync your iTunes player, your music folder, or other folders. I chose to sync my iTunes player, and to my pleasant surprise, it preserved the playlists I created on iTunes. I'm already seeing my music come in on my Nexus S and I was able to hook my music up to my car seamlessly, no download delays for me. You do have the option to make your music available offline.

iTunes in the Cloud is also free and automatically pushes your music to your devices. It's a great way to keep all your music across your Mac, your iPhone, your iPod etc. in sync. Also, you're finally able to only purchase your music once and access it anywhere. (About time!)

Apple also introduced the iTunes Match service for $24.99 a year, up to 25,000 songs. It scans your existing library and matches songs to Apple's music database. There's no need to actually upload anything if a match is found, but in case of no match, your songs will still be uploaded. This really speeds up the sync process. Also, this means if you ripped or pirated your music, a match almost makes it legit. You get all the benefits as though your music is purchased from iTunes (upgrade to 256-Kbps AAC). If it's music you've purchased elsewhere, well, you're kinda paying for music you've already purchased.

Both services are free (mostly, in the case of iTunes). The Cloud syncing concept is not new. It's the only logical step Apple can take. Google already does that with Gmail, Picasa, Docs etc, so I'm happy to see Apple step it up. They are by no means the pioneers as some (stupid) people may think.

(I'm sticking to Google Music for now since I'm not part of the iDevice halo effect. Google Music is working seamlessly with my Nexus S so far. Will give an update when I play with both services more. Oh, sorry Amazon, didn't mean to leave you out.)


  1. kevinjm12:34 PM

    I never quite understood the concept of the cloud. I mean you uploaded 80gb of music, which is roughly 60days worth (at 1gb= 18hours).
    Assuming your phone has a battery life of 4 hours while streaming the music, that's 240 days to listen to your whole library (if you listen religiously). Idk about the rest of the tech world but having to stream that much is not much better than storing what you can on your phone's internal memory.
    Just my thought.
    Is the cloud really that great for music when phones hold upwards of 32gbs?

  2. Well the point of it is to keep everything in sync with no extra work. Before the cloud concept you'd have to manually add what you want onto each device you listen to music with. While that's a decent solution, why not cut that work out and have all the media you own accessible anywhere?

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