My Experience with Google Music Beta for Android

What Is this “Google Music Beta” ?

Google Music is simply a new tool that you UPLOAD YOUR MUSIC files to the magical cloud in the sky, and have access to it anytime, anywhere you have internet access either on your Android device, or a web browser..  Let me be explicit, you have to have the song on your PC to send it up, so if you don’t have a nice digital mp3 collection then this may not be sexy to you yet.  If you don’t have a digital MP3 library, I highly recommend you catch up to 2011, damn near everything I own is digital now.  I HATE having discs laying around, movies or CD’s..

Google Music Online Interface. Smokes Amazon Mp3 Cloud Booya Gadget

Google Music Online Interface. Smokes Amazon Mp3 Cloud Web Interface

I tend to always throw my hat in the ring for Google Beta products, the last time it was for our Google Voice review, this time it was Google Music Beta where you can request your own invite if you’re impatient for a formal release.  We’ve already written about Amazon Cloud MP3, and to me these are very similar services.  Hold a gun to my head, and I’ll choose Google over Amazon Mp3 but in the end they’re all really similar.

 

Most important right off the bat, is that Google Music allows a 20,000 song upload limit. If you have more than that, then you are friggin LOCO !  That is a crapload of music.  I’m a tech-nerd, and have about 5,300 songs including audio books.  That is plenty of music and will literally fill DAYS of music play so if you have more than that, you must be in some kind of 90th percentile.  I also question your ability to manage over 5,000 songs.. anyways..

UPLOADING with MUSIC MANAGER

Depending on how much music you have it *may* take a crapload of time. Just in case you don’t know, uploading on the internet is WAY slower than downloading so don’t expect the same experience as you do with normal web surfing.  I literally set up my Google Music Manager, and went to bed.  If you have hundreds of songs only, then this shouldn’t be too bad of an experience, but if you’re in the thousands, then just be patient.  However, a very nice user experience is that you can indeed use Google Music Beta WHILE your music is uploading.  So you can basically test right away.  If you happen to be a little more hardcore, all my iTunes library is stored on my FreeNAS server and this worked just the same.

Google Music Beta Invitation Review Impressions Discover Music Files Booya Gadget

Point Google Music Manager to your Tool or Folder with Music

Basically, you point the music manager to a folder of your choice.  Just like Amazon MP3 Cloud,  this can be a bit sketchy.  If you have a LOT of music, like over 2,000 songs at least, then you may want to just create a test folder.  If you have under 1,000 songs then just plug this sucker in and you may have an easier experience than I did uploading a big-ass library of music.

FREEBIES

In fact, when you sign up, Google let’s you pick a handful of songs by Genre.  A nice touch, especially if you have no music ready for upload.  Just another way to try out there services yourself.. For me, I selected what I normally would by genre, but this is not the selling factor of this service, just a nice touch.  Maybe you get lucky and one of their freebies is right in your wheelhouse.  For me, all it did was screw up my collection by adding genre’s I don’t use.  I would never complain getting free stuff, but for example, I had to go change their free music genre from “RAP / HIP HOP” to “RAP” because it added an extra genre on my screen.  Picky, but I run a tight musical ship.

Google Music Beta Invitation Review Impressions Free Music Booya Gadget

Free Songs by Genre

DEVICES / SOFTWARE

I certainly don’t have every Android O.S. device, but I do have a myTouch 3g Slide and Motorola Xoom.  Within seconds of signing up and getting setup online, my Google Music player on my WiFi Xoom definitely knew that I was in the Music Beta, as did my Slide.  In fact, I’ve been hammering BOTH devices with G Music the past several days.  As a “can I break it test”, I was able to play music simultaneously on my Slide, Xoom, and even the Web Player.  A fun, corny test, but interesting nonetheless.  This means your wife could stream via the phone at a friends house, and you could use the Browser to stream at home during poker night and both enjoy a shared library…  A stretch, but a successful test nonetheless.

A nice feature, ( expected ), is the desktop widget provided with Google Music.   Nothing fancy, especially on the myTouch, but you can very easily place a GMB music on your desktop and drive your tunes. I did it all the time in my test drive.

Google Music Beta on Xoom and myTouch 3g Slide Booya Gadget

Google Music worked great on Xoom and myTouch 3g Slide

THE GOOD AND THE BAD.

I had a little notepad file that I used to gather my tangible impressions over the past few days.. Here are the results!

THE BAD

  • 1,000 song limit for playlists ( Very annoying when I have a genre with 1,200 songs, WTF should I do ? Manally do it ? )
  • Cannot rate thumbs up / down from Droid Player ( I REALLY HATE THIS )
  • Long time to upload, but worth it
  • Fine Tuning must happen on website
  • Locked the Hell out of my Xoom a couple times
  • Choppy when multi tasking on several occasions
  • Tough to stop an upload if your music is not organized well

THE GOOD

  • 20,000 song limit ( that is a LOT of music )
  • One Click Create a playlist based on a song
  • Easy to edit song information ( like changing genre,or album info manually ) online, for fine tuning ( easier than Amazon Mp3 )
  • Easily store desired songs for trips etc..  Stores your most recent library if you don’t have internet connection
  • Bluetooth to home stereo and car works great
  • Auto Playlists based on songs that you give a “THUMBS UP” to ( BUT, you can’t thumbs up on the device )
  • Album Covers look nice
  • Pleasant viewing Landscape or Portrait mode on your device
  • Multiple devices, worked same on myTouch 3g Slide and Android Xoom
  • Nice little Widgets for your Droid Home Screen / Desktop

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View All My Photos of my Google Music Xoom Install and Setup Process at Booya Flickr Now:

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SUMMARY / OVERALL

This is a cool service supported by Google muscle.  I read a lot of other reviews where people had bad experiences, I had a predictable experience, and this was no emergency although I was eager to spend some time and share an article with you.  I was expecting just what I got, because we had already done a deep dive on Amazon MP3 Cloud.  It had a VERY similar feel to it.  Google Music is NOT a must have for non music lovers, or if you just have very little music.  For me, and most of BooyaGadget.com it’s a must have.   I care very little about any “privacy” concerns.  If Al Qaeda hacked my account, what are they going to do ? Listen to my Wiz Khalifa songs? Go ahead..  It’s just a convenient service that I will personally use, but if you find yourself wondering if you’re missing out, then you’re probably not.  Stick with Pandora and Jango which are really good alternatives to this kind of service.  There are a handful of improvements to be made, and to me this is simply a backup service and alternative listening source for my music.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ? BOOYA !

 

Filed Under: AndroidGoogleNEWSSmart PhonesXoom Tablets

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About the Author: I'm am a multi-platform tech enthusiast with Droid, Windows, and Mac / iOS, and some Linux and Raspberry Pi etc.. Published a few windows phone apps, and android apps. I love tech and gadgets. Professionally I typically work in I.T. as a SQL developer.

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  1. BooyaTRJ says:

    *UPDATE*
    The repeating song glitch showed up today. I will say that Google Music does seem to be running better and I am seeing the glitch less, but it it still out there.

  2. BooyaCuz says:

    this is your first rodeo.
    user error

    :)

    • BooyaTRJ says:

      “User error?” How is that. Cause i didn’t use my time machine to go into the future to find new apps that would be buggy on my Ally.

      I used an update I have been sitting on to maybe fix a NEW glitch I am experiencing. Plus we don’t even know if it has fixed it yet, early testing looks good, but i have ran off a string of songs before.

  3. BooyaTRJ says:

    Actually no grief. My phone worked perfect til Google Music was released. No reason to update when the release notes just included bugs I am not experiencing and the Car/Phone app getting Spanish.

    1998 policy please. In 2011 I updated the LG Blu-ray in my bedroom and lost all audio/video sync on my Divx compressions. Had to search the internet for the previous firmware errrrrrrrrrrrrrrr software update. Something software or firmware that only promises bug fixes that you don’t have…don’t install it. Never fix something that’s not broken.

    However, in this case I finally had a a broken app on my phone so I took the update and possibly fixed Google Music. (further testing may prove otherwise)

    Its only to meant to correct SMS routing issues, a problem I wasn’t having. Come on now this ain’t my first rodeo!

  4. BooyaCuz says:

    to me that’s an old school interpretation of PHONE updates. I think those rules apply well for motherboard bios updates, but when I get an update for a phone / tablet I do it.

    I certainly couldn’t reproduce your original errors, but my phone was updated.

    2.2.2 is a SOFTWARE update not FIRMWARE. Operating system stuff. Your old school 1998 policies caused you grief.
    Booya

  5. BooyaTRJ says:

    General rule is never update a firmware unless the answer to one of these questions is YES!
    #1 – Firmware is adding new/exciting features not currently available
    #2 – You are experiencing enough bugs and glitches that downloading a firmware can’t make it any worse than it already is.

    With that said I have had the Froyo 2.2.2 download on my LG Ally for 2 months and had not yet installed it. It wasn’t going to provide new features and I wasn’t having any problems with the phone…..until Google Music.

    After plenty of testing and and an update to Google Music App that “allegedly” fixed the repeating song, then silence glitch I was getting frustrated and about to return to Amazon……but

    Now that the answer to question #2 was YES…time to trigger that update to Froyo 2.2.2! The results – I have been running Google Music all day and have yet to encounter the repeating song glitch. I will continue testing, but as of right now it appears that the latest LG Ally firmware from Verizon has fixed this bug.

  6. BooyaCuz says:

    very interesting. I connect via bluetooth in my toyota tacoma, so I control anything bluetooth with the head unit mainly my remote control which I love. Never have to touch the device once I connect it.

    this works with ALL my devices, anything bluetooth. quite awesome actually.

    weird glitch, but this is “google music BETA” so a glitch or two is expected, although what you described is a bit nasty.
    good test on the road trip !!

    • BooyaTRJ says:

      I am connected Bluetooth as well, but the advantage you have is being able to control via head unit. If I could control via head unit I don’t think this glitch would be as frustrating.

      But it is beta so updates should be coming fast and furious.

  7. BooyaTRJ says:

    Google Music Beta is free so its hard to complain, but as of June 6th it is completely useless in my car. The song repeating glitch is killing my enjoyment.

    Here is what happens.

    Pick a song by Artist, Genre, etc. Every so often a song will glitch and it will repeat the song. The song length is extended past the length of the song. After the second playing of the song the progress bar will continue, but no music will play. As of writing this post Josh Rouse, Quiet Town is now at 11:54 in the progress bar, well past the 2:27 actual time of the song and no music is playing.

    This is frustrating in the car because you have to pick up the phone, unlock and then press the advance key to play the next song. Had to do this non-stop from Portland to Seattle this weekend…finally just turned on the old AM/FM radio out of frustration. Need an update ASAP!