First Experience with Music Beta by Google

by: Ian SherwinMay 26, 2011
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This afternoon, while sitting in a hot library studying, I noticed that my Droid X’s notification light was blinking rapidly. Looking for a distraction, I powered on my display, and saw that I had a new email. The subject of the email read: “You’re Invited to Music Beta by Google.” My day instantly went from being a woeful Wednesday to becoming a wonderful Wednesday, all thanks to Google.

I clicked on the “Get Started” link provided in the email. The web page contained directions on how to download Music Manager, which is a piece of software (roughly 46 mb in size) that enables users to upload their selected to music to Google’s cloud servers, and eventually, stream that music back down to the user’s Android powered device. Upon opening up the software, I was asked to select music to add to my library. I was given three options as to where I want to pull my music from: iTunes player; Music folder; and Other folders. I selected Other folders. Additionally, I opened Finder on my Macbook Pro, created a new folder entitled “Google Music,” and dropped some Lil Wayne into it. I then went back into the Music Manager, selected that folder as the source of my music, and I was good to go.

After clicking on “Go to Music Player,”  a new browser window appeared in Chrome. Inside the window was the Music Beta web interface. My music was already there! I was also asked if I wanted Google to provide me with some music based on genres. I clicked on certain genres, and next thing I knew, additional music was in the player.

If you have ever used iTunes, you’ll be extremely comfortable navigating around Music Beta. Album images are present, along with names of artists, albums, songs, music categories, and anything else that you could or would want to know about your music.

Next, I powered on my Android device and downloaded the Music Beta by Google application. I opened the app up, only to be disappointed. The music that I had uploaded was not present on my phone. The only music that I saw was the music that was being stored on my SD card. I shut down the application, relaunched it, and voila, I was asked if I wanted to upload my music using my invitation to Music Beta. I selected yes, and just like that, I was streaming my music to my Droid X.

The Android application provides all the views and layout that you could want, and is very similar to the web interface. You can view your music both vertically and horizontally. The cover flow transitions and effects are flawless and oh so smooth. I’m heavily impressed. I’ve been using the application for a few hours now, and I cannot seem to find anything wrong with it.

The only thing that I’m dreading is that a year from now, Google will realize how valuable and desirable this service really is, and will start charging users a steep price to access this application. In my honest opinion, if Google can offer gMail, Youtube, Blogger, and other similar services for free, there is absolutely no reason that it cannot offer Google Music free of charge either. If you haven’t requested your Music Beta by Google invitation, make sure to do so immediately, by clicking here.

  • Ian Sherwin

    Has anyone else gotten a Beta invitation and tried Music out??

  • Beth

    I’m a bit concerned how much data it will use if I don’t have wifi available….

  • Rex

    I was one of the lucky few to get a Google Beta Music invite.

    I”ve used it, and have to say I am very impressed! It seems Google is really on the ball and is set to have a stellar year!

  • I just got my invite yesterday. A little disappointed that I had to install software to upload music at all–really expected a simple upload like Google docs. Nonetheless, I got some free music added and played with it. It has a ways to go to catch up to players like Foobar2000 but it’s certainly a decent option.

  • moe

    I got my invite last week. Streaming works pretty good over 3g, with minimal loading time. The first upload process was slooowww though. It took about a week to upload about 1200 songs. But once that was done it seems like it uploads new music I add to my folder pretty quickly.

  • ChrisLH

    I haven’t gotten my Music Beta invite yet, but I’m looking forward to trying it out. I’m pretty happy with Amazon MP3 at this point and the automatic syncing with new purchases (that don’t count against your storage space). Amazon has a huge advantage with an existing MP3 store which is integrated into the app itself.

    For those that have tried out Music Beta, does it automatically upload new music from the folder. For instance, if I set my Amazon Downloader to automatically put the music in a Google Music folder, will that be added automatically to Google Music or do I have to manually add/upload it?

  • Jake

    I got invited to the beta as well and I have to say that I have been extremely pleased with google’s service. I haven’t had any problems with it thus far and Ive actually been able to clear up a lot of free space on my phones SD card by deleting my music off it and only using the streaming through Google Music. I have unlimited data so I don’t worry about data charges. My only concern is will Google Music be compatible with .aa files? Id really like to upload all my audio books but google music manager doest seem to recognize the files.

  • david

    “lil wayne”.. lol DOh
    I thought you said MUSIC?