A couple of days ago I got my invite to Google Music. This is Google’s web-based answer to Apple’s iTunes. Given that I have an Android device I have been waiting for this since it was announced several months ago.
I got around to dabbling with it today. So far it is pretty spartan and while the basics are solid some of the features I had expected to be there aren’t.
First off there’s no Linux support. Music is uploaded by a music manager which is available only for Windows or Mac. This could be mitigated by some in-browser uploading support. This is web-based after all. But no such option exists.
Secondly there’s no Ogg support. As one of those geeks who actually purchases CDs and rips them myself I prefer Ogg Vorbis as a patent free, royalty free format. Apple’s failing is that they have not, and probably never will, support Ogg. When I purchased my Droid I was ecstatic to see that it supported Ogg. So it is more than a little disappointing that the service which is supposed to feed music to my Droid doesn’t support all the formats the device itself supports.
On the other hand uploading is mostly painless. Point it at a directory and it will recursively upload all music files in that directories children. However I suspect that it will suffer from the same problem I have with other music management systems (iTunes & Doubletwist), not recognizing multiple formats of the same song. I’d love for these to recognize that “06 – Forsaken.mp3”, “06 – Forsaken.ogg” & “06 – Forsaken.flac” in “Within Temptation – The Silent Force” means they’re the same song and only use the one I prefer for that device. MP3 for my wife’s iPod, Ogg for my Android, FLAC for neither.
I also would like to see that Google Music would allow me to add RSS feeds for my regular podcasts.
As for the Android portion of the pairing I am unsure how well it works. Since I have already downloaded all of my music to my Droid via Doubletwist it recognizes that local music and lists it. There appears to be no distinction between local and remote copies at this time.
So far it is early and if the work on GMail and Google Reader are any indication they’ll continue to improve and add features as time goes by. If anything I can always get off my ass and provide the above as feedback.