American Google users usually get the cool stuff first, and since Google’s music service launched there in 2011, we’ve been anxiously awaiting its arrival here. Finally, the day has come when Android smartphones, tablets, and computers with Google accounts can take advantage of what Google has to offer in the music space.
The service is called Google Play Music, and chances are that if you have an Android device already, the link has appeared in Google Play and is ready for you to take a look at.
For Google, Play Music represents another place for you to buy music from, with prices for the online music coming in at the rate Aussies are probably sick of paying per track ($2.19), though albums can cost anywhere between $2.99 and $19.99, with most new releases sitting between $12.99 and $15.99.
Purchased music can be streamed and downloaded to Android tablets and phones, as well as computers with a Google account, such as the one used for Gmail, but unless the Music Manager program is used, downloads can only be performed twice, which is likely part of a method to reduce piracy.
We grabbed the latest David Bowie disc “The Next Day” to see just what the quality was like, and with 320kbps MP3 files, we’re certainly not dissatisfied.
The cost also seems less uninviitng, with – at least in this case – a price of $12.99 beating the current prices on competing services, including iTunes, BigPond Music, and the physical format in CD stores.
Music can also be uploaded to the service, which can store at max 20,000 songs and will allow Android devices to quickly access music on the go.
It’s similar to the iTunes Match service, which after paying an annual fee, offers your music across iOS and iTunes connected devices.
Both services – Apple iTunes Match and Google Play – won’t necessarily upload all your files, matching the tracks you own to each company’s respective library and only uploading the songs that aren’t there. Tracks that are linked will be offered from the files already on Google’s (and iTunes Match’s) systems.