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Four Days ago I got my Google Music Beta invite. It was exciting since I have for ages thought about the best way to preserve my now entirely digital music collection. As of 2009 I ingested all my CDs into MP3 files and have not looked back. But with digitization a whole new world of pain opened up. Issues such as duplication in my iTunes playlists, back-up to hard-drive and moving from computer to computer proved that by moving technology does not provide a digital Shangri-La for music. I am a fan of both Spotify.com and Grooveshark.com but both services lack the ability for me to have my music collection as a cloud based services available to all my devices across the globe.

With Google Music Beta I have hoping to come slightly closer to a cloud-based music collection that would enable me and my family to access music that we have collected for years across devices and anywhere.

I clicked the link in the email invite and was taken directly through the initial sign-up where there is a mention that the service is free for now but Google might actually start charging if they fancy so in the future. Depending on the price this could make it an issue but for now the service is free.

The next step is the downloading of the Music Manager application and since I am on a Mac is gets loaded in under the applications folder and is activated under system preferences. Google has a list of free music that comes with the application and it allows the users to tick which genres should be pre-loaded with the app. I select everythinbg on the menu except pop. After the initial selction the application prompts me to where I would like to upload my music collection from with iTunes being one of the options. I click the iTunes button and 2 minutes after analyzing the Music Manager App start to upload 4657 songs or 25GB which constitutes my entire collection.

I leave the uploading overnight and when I check in the next morning the upload has made it to 345 songs. Whether it is my connection or part of the process I am not sure of but I am now 4 days in and I am on 1332 songs in total. I tested the connection both from home and from work and it seem to be a limitation in moving the files to Google from the Music Manager. This is of course a bit frustrating since in our digital world what I want is instant gratification. But I want to show a patient side so hopefully in another week or two I will have my entire collection online.

The next part is to start accessing my collection from my Android Phone. I quickly navigate the Android marketplace and find the Google Music App and install it. This part of Google Music shines. The app is well-designed, makes navigation easy and packs just enough features to make it useful rather than confusing. There are quick overviews of Albums, Artists, Songs and the ability to search. The user can scroll through any of these overviews and open up a menu for each item in the list. I make a playlist of songs in no time and play is straight off the cloud. The song is good for a phone device and it is running on 3G with no trouble. I then switch to Wifi and the service still works when switching between the 3G and Wifi.

I guess the awesomeness of a cloud-based music collection is manifested by the ability of everybody in the house-hold to access our music at the same time anywhere. Currently my wife is listening to Underworld at home, while I am listening to King Tubby at work and my daughter is listening to Bob Marley while playing Angry Birds on the Android phone. As a digital music cloud service Google Music Beta is definitely heading in the right direction. At the moment this is a service I would like to have available especially for my own music collection and maybe in the future it will incorporate more services ike grooveshark.com and spotify.com

 

 

 

 

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