First Look at Google Music: Our Favorite Features in Google's Cloud Music Player [Video]
Google just unveiled their new cloud music service, and we've checked out the beta to see how it works. Here's a tour of some of our favorite features.
Google's new music service aims to make all your music available everywhere you go. You can upload up to 20,000 songs, and play them back in any desktop web browser as well as the new music player on Android. It goes above and beyond the call of duty to include some extra features, too, like a Genius-like playlist creator and thumbs up/thumbs down tool for easy shuffling of your favorite music. Here's a look at how it works.
Right now, the service is only available in the US, and you have to get an invite to the private beta. You can sign up for the beta at music.google.com. Once you get your invite, you'll be able to sign into the service from the same page. It'll first ask you for your favorite genres of music, and give you some free song packs to try out that match your tastes. It's a nice touch, especially if you just want to see how the player works before you go uploading all your music. Once it's done, it'll prompt you to download the Music Manager to start uploading your music.
Uploading Your Music
Google's Music Manager tool is available for both Windows and Mac, and will import music straight from iTunes, Windows Media Player, or a folder on your computer. After signing in with your Google Music account, you can tell it where you store your music, and even have it watch for changes. That way, whenever you add new music to those folders or to your desktop client, it'll automatically upload those tracks to Google Music as well, so you don't have to worry about it later.
Note that it does actually upload your music, which can take awhile. It isn't like Grooveshark or Lala, that has all the music stored on their servers and just matches your library to their tracks—you're actually uploading the files of the music you own. It&#...