Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Google Music Is Singing A New Song

Sounds like the "beta" label came off Google Music yesterday. It is now a full fledged service offering a new way to maintain your music collection in the cloud, permitting you to load all the albums you currently own and providing a convenient way to find and acquire more. The Android market still has Apps but now includes a Book, Movie and Music section.

When the beta service was first announced, I uploaded all of my tracks which were "ripped" from all my CDs and had been comfortably housed on my local PC hard drive. Fetching the client software from the Android market enabled my HTC EVO to find and play any of my individual tracks, entire albums and my play lists. I no longer had to synchronize the two devices, or consume the limited storage space on the EVO.

The new music section of the Android market offers about 8 million titles from Sony, Universal and EMI. Conspicuously missing is Warner Music but they are rumored to be coming soon. The new Android market includes one more tab, My Library. This is the neat web interface for organizing or scanning through your personal collection.

You can shop the market on the web or your Android phone. Once acquired and added to your library, any music will instantly  be available for play on all devices. Needless to say, the search engine (Google) enables you to find whatever you are looking for. The market also offers a lot of free tracks including entire albums from new and old groups alike, trends, reviews, recommendations and other related content.

With Apple pushing the envelope on advanced search technology with the introduction of Siri, it makes sense that Google would fight back by attacking in the music arena. Ironically, I now find myself caught in the middle of this battle, having succumbed to the allure of the latest iPhone, my tracks have all been imported to iTunes. I no longer use any Android device making it difficult to continue experimenting with Google Music features.

I don't know when Google will get around to linking voice recognition and their search engine to some back end intelligence, creating their own Siri-like facility. This would not only counter Apple's attempt to steal search market share but might force me to again "face the music" on my choice of device.

Captain Joe

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