Get Google Music!
By Google Inc.
Although it’s a bit late to the music app party, Google Music arrives with what could be considered the best combination of features and design compared to the explosion of free music-app competitors.
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It always seems as though Google is always the last kid to the party (despite its size, ambition and respectability). Whether it’s social networking (Google+), video content (remember Google Video?) or even searching (Google actually came in at the tail end of the search-engine boom). Now, only months after the launch of Amazon Music and Spotify, here comes Google Music—late as usual.
This time around, however, Google looks to be fashionably late. Of its competitors, the Google Music app is easily the best looking of the free music apps. The interface is simple and clean—buttons are clear, and everything is where you would expect it to be. This may seem like a throwaway distinction, but due to all the similarities between competitors, aesthetics may be your deciding factor.
Functionally, Google Music provides seamless cloud access for all Android devices. The Music Manager desktop application copies your library to the cloud, where it can be accessed online or through the mobile app from anywhere with an Internet connection. Gone are the days of syncing and transferring files back and forth. Your music is all there, instantly, no matter where you are.
On that note, one of Google Music’s best features is similar to the perks of its competitor, Spotify: its offline mode. While connected to the web, you can save whatever songs, albums or playlists you’d like to have access to without an Internet connection, and they’ll be temporarily stored locally on your device. This is great for runs, road trips and offices with spotty Wi-Fi connections. The next time you’re online, you can add new playlists to offline mode, drop the ones you’ve already listened to, or simply always keep your favorites available.
Google Music allows for the storage of up to 20,000 songs, regardless of file size. That’s roughly 2,000 albums! Any music you already own is automatically uploaded to your Google Music library free of charge. New music isn’t free, but it is cheap. The Android Marketplace routinely runs deals for full $5 albums, though music can be purchased from any source (Amazon, iTunes, user uploads, etc.).
The only real knock on Google Music is its social integration. Unless you’re an avid Google+ user, don’t expect to be sharing many playlists with your music geek friends. It’s hard to beat the full Facebook integration of Spotify, but ultimately, this is about the music, not what your friends think.
Reviewed: Dec 26, 2011 | Nick HurwitchAlso featured on: Best Music Apps of 2013
This app is included in a scenario called 3 Best Music Apps for the Cloud