Google’s new Music service is now in Beta, and it promises to help you keep your music in sync across all of your devices. If you’ve tried to keep your music collection in sync between two devices, or tried to share an iTunes library between two PCs, you know how frustrating and time consuming it can be.
Google Music allows you to put your music in the cloud once, and sync it to your laptop, desktop, Android phone, and Android tablet. The service is still in Beta, so Request an Invitation to get started.
Google Music Beta – An Overview:
Google’s Music Beta is unlike any other web-based music service out there. The primary function is music storage. Unlike Amazon Cloud Player and Apple’s upcoming iCloud service, there is no store component.
That may change in the future, but Google Music’s objective is to provide a centralized location for up to 20,000 of your songs, allow you to stream your songs to internet-connected devices, and help keep your music in sync on those devices. Lets look at how Google Music can be setup and used.
Installing the Google Music Manager
1. Once you get your Music Beta invitation and sign up for the service, you need to install Google’s Music Manager application to start putting your music in the cloud.
2. When you run Google’s Music Manager application, sign in with your Google account the application prompts you to, and then click Continue.
3. By clicking Continue, you agree to only use legally acquired music on Google Music.
4. Choose the location of your music collection from the list, and then click Continue.
5. If you want any new music you add to your collection to be automatically uploaded to Google Music, click Yes. Otherwise, click No. You can change this in the application settings later if you change your mind.
6. The Music Manager will scan your device for songs.
7. Once the application determines how many songs you have, click Continue to begin adding music to your account.
8. Click on Launch Music Player to start listening to your music while it is uploading in the background. The player will open in your Web browser.
Changing Music Manager’s Settings
When you open the Music Manager Preferences, you can change a few different settings.
On the Select Music tab you can choose another location to add music from if you have music in more than one location on your device.
On the Advanced tab, you can choose how to upload music to your account. If you have a bandwidth cap from your ISP, you may want to choose Manually or At most once per Hour, Day, or Week. You can also choose how much bandwidth the application uses to upload your music to Google. If you would like Music Manager to open automatically, you can set that option here.
If you have music on more than one Google account, you can Sign Out of your account here, and switch accounts.
Using Google’s Music Beta Player
Like most music players, Google Music automatically arranges your music by Songs, Artists, Albums, and Genres under New and recent in the My Library pane on the left side of the window. Your song, album, artist, or genre list is displayed in the right side of the pane.
The music player itself is cleverly located at the bottom of the window, so you can access everything on one easy-to-navigate screen. The three initial Auto Playlists show songs with a Thumbs Up rating, Recently added, songs, and Free songs that are provided by Google.
The Instant Mixes feature is an awesome way to make a quick playlist. When you click on any song in your collection and click Instant Mixes, Google Music creates an instant playlist of similar songs. Surprisingly, the songs that Google Music chose for our playlists during our testing were similar and complemented each other well. If you need to spice up your playlists, this is a great way to do it.
When you click on the Settings link in the upper right corner of the screen, you can see how many songs are available in your library, subscribe to Google’s news and offers, Report a problem or Withdraw from Music Beta. If you choose to withdraw, your access will be removed, and all of your songs will be deleted permanently.
From the Settings screen, you can also control your device list. Google music allows you to authorize up to eight devices. If you want to Deauthorize a device, you can do that here with the click of a button.
Conclusion – Google Music Has Great Potential:
Google’s Music Manager application is easy to install and configure. The web-based Music Player has all the basic functions you expect from any music player. Both the desktop application and Web interface seem stable and are very responsive. If your main imperative is to find a safe, free (right now) place to store a large music collection, Google Music is a fantastic option.
If you like to browse and buy music or videos while you peruse your collection, Google Music is not for you. There are no video options, and there is no store, but that does not mean that Google does not have plans to compete with Amazon’s MP3 store and iTunes in the future.
Google Music is still a very young product, and is still in Beta. As it matures, expect Google to incorporate more complex features, and possibly the ability to purchase music and add it to your collection. For now, Google Music does what it set out to do, which is provide cloud storage for your music collection, and an easy way to keep your songs synchronized with several devices.