Google is always trying to find new areas of the digital world to dive into. Now, the internet giant is taking on Apple's iTunes Match with the release of Google Music, although it's hard to say if there is any comparison at all.
Both iTunes Match and Google Music allow you to store, purchase, and play songs from your favorite artists. They also both utilize cloud technology to access your music from wherever you are in the world, on multiple devices. Both services also allow you to add any music you have in your collection, but only one of them is easier: iTunes.
iTunes Wins for Ease of Use
Let's say you have 5,000 songs on your home computer and wish to upload them to iTunes Match. The program will scan your computer looking for music, and instantly add any songs that are already in the iTunes store (we'll say 3,500 of the songs you currently own.) All you have to do from here is upload the remaining 1,500 songs and you are ready to rock out on any Apple device or your home computer, as you can sync your library and any playlists created across all devices. With Google Music, whose uploading software has been referred to as clumsy, you must upload each song yourself. Quite the undertaking with 5,000 songs in your library.
iTunes also improves the sound quality automatically for any old songs you may have from a decade ago, when you probably compromised compression settings for hard drive space. If iTunes Match comes across a song such as this, as long as it exists in Apple's database of music offerings, you reap the benefits and are able to enjoy the higher quality version.
The Pricetag Favors Google Music
The iTunes Match service hits you for $24.99 monthly, while Google Music is free. In today's economy, Google Music is certain to have users for this reason alone. Luckily, Google teamed up with EMI, Sony, and Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group to allow albums to be purchased through the Android Market, although you have to download each song individually rather than iTunes, who allows an entire album to be downloaded with the click of a button.
Any artist under Warner Music Group will not be represented, so sadly you will not find anything from Led Zeppelin, Josh Groban, Cee Lo Green, or Ray Charles for the time being. Sorry. If you're an opera fan, you may want to go with iTunes Match as there are slim pickings available on Google Music.
Luring Users with Free Tracks
To attract new users, Google Music is offering certain tracks for free for a period of time. There are currently just over 200 free songs available across many different genres for many big names in the industry, such as Elvis, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer, and Outkast to name a few.
Google is using this new music service to gain more users for their new social networking site Google+ at the same time. For a limited time, if you purchase a song from the Android Market, your friends on Google+ are able to listen to it as well, free of charge. It's tough to say if this idea will work, as Google+ is struggling to entice users away from Facebook.
How Do I Get Google Music?
If you aren't worried about the hassle of adding your collection by hand and just want a solid program that stores up to 20,000 songs for free without having to sync your devices, head over to music.google.com to download the program for yourself. If you prefer the smooth operations of iTunes Match, visit the app store to install it on your Apple device.