Jun. 11 2011

Music by Google

Music by GoogleMusic by Google is a cloud-based music manager from the folks at Google. Songs from your media library are uploaded to Music so you can listen to them from anywhere.

It’s currently in an invitational beta stage (you can request an invite from the site) but it seems like development is going pretty well. Currently, there’s a limit of 20,000 songs for the media library per account.

Music is just like every media library manager out there. It has various views for your library (Songs, Artists, Albums, Genres), auto playlists (Thumbs up, Free songs, and Recently added), regular playlists you create yourself, and Instant Mixes (which acts like iTune’s Genius by creating a playlist of songs from your library based on a single song).

I think this is what Google meant for Music. The interface is simple and obvious with no customization (yet, anyway). You can come from any media manager and be instantly familiar with Music–including music sites like Last.fm.

In terms of design, I think Music has a lot of work to do. But, in terms of functionality, I don’t want to see much more going into it or a nice case of feature creeping will set in. I would like to see an API of some sort come about when the service is stable enough. I can foresee a lot of goodness coming from it like playlist generation from different engines, use of services like Last.fm/Audioscrobbler and Orgler, and social integration. (Note: you can scrobble the music you listen to on Music with a Chrome extension.)

There’s already an official Android app for Music which doubles as a Music player and music player (e.g., Music and local files)! It’ll be nice to be able to listen to my music on my phone without having to worry about syncing or SD space issues. And to not have to rely solely on Pandora for music–which is nice when you don’t have a specific song stuck in your head.

One caveat so far that I’ve found is with Music Manager: all music has to be uploaded from your computer to Music. I’m sure that’s to get around licensing and DCMA issues, but it’ll be a big pain in the ass. I only have around 5,000 songs to be uploaded, but that’s over 30 gigs! After the initial upload, it shouldn’t be too terribly bad.

Overall, I’m a big fan of Music. As long as Google doesn’t bloat it too much, gives users a little bit more customization to the interface (which I’m sure isn’t going to happen until the initial beta stage is finished), and provides some sort of API system, I think it’ll be a wonderful service.

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Last.fm interface from fmTuner (modified by me).

Twitter interface from HL Twitter.

Dedicated to my mom, Sharon. May she rest peacefully.
Love you always. (March 23, 1965 - November 12, 2011)

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