As I type this, I am listening to some of my favorite songs through the web interface of Google Music Beta. After applying to become a beta tester over a month ago, Google finally sent me an email inviting me to their music service. I immediately started uploading my music collection through the Music Manager application that Google provides. On a Mac, the user interface is actually accessed via a panel in the system preference application. I was given the optons to upload music from my iTunes library, my music folder, or another folder.
After my songs were quietly uploaded in the background, I was able to access my song library on any computer by logging in on http://music.google.com. As a bonus, Google Music is compatible with iOS and can be accessed, with all features available, through any web browser on iOS. Song information such as name, length, album, number of plays, and rating is displayed with all of your songs.
The web interface of Google Music consists of a sidebar, player controls, a main area to display song information, and a search bar. Overall, I believe that the interface is somewhat like that of a trimmed down iTunes.
According to Google’s help articles, the limit to the number of songs that you can upload is 20,000. That’s a lot! In fact, I’m sure that that is far more than I’ll ever need. An interesting thing to note is that song length/size isn’t measured. This means that you can upload lossless audio files many hours in length (think audiobooks and concerts). Assuming you are uploading the mp3 files of songs of average length to Google Music, you could easily end up consuming around 120 GB of storage on Google’s servers!
All in all, I believe that Google Music is a very promising service. It has many points that compete with other online music storage services like Apple’s iCloud and Amazon’s Cloud Drive & Player such as a very high song limit and easy access on all of your devices.
You can request access to Google Music at http://music.google.com (if you are reading this post far in the future, then Google Music will likely be out of beta and you won’t need to request access anymore).