Tuesday, November 22, 2011

iTunes Music Match & Google Music


So last week I talked to you guys a bit about iTunes Music Match and Google music.  I’ve been testing both services for a few days now and I thought I’d share my overall impressions of both.

iTunes Music Match:

You have a computer with iTunes at home and you have a collection of music there.  You can p ay $25 a year (less than 3 bucks a month) to use iTunes Music Match.  This looks at all your songs and it decides which ones iTunes already  has, if it has them, it doesn’t upload them because it already has them.  If you have any files that it doesn’t have then it uploads them.  This then allows you to go on your iOS device (iphone, itouch, ipad, another mac computer) and download the songs and play them from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection to download. 

Good: Price is actually not bad, it saves you a LOT of time by finding the files you don’t need to download.  If you have a copy of a song that you ripped from a CD but it didn’t quite come out right, it’ll download the iTunes version of that song on your other devices so you’ll have a great sounding song.  If you rate a song in one device that rating travels to all the devices.   Same with playlists.  From my 13,000 song collection it only needed to upload 3,000 songs.

Bad: No streaming, it downloads all the songs you play.  Until you play them they stay in the cloud be once you play a song on your ios device, it’s downloaded.  This makes playing it later better but also takes up room on your device.  I have yet to find an easy way to delete specific songs from the device after they’ve been downloaded.  I also uploaded all my songs from my laptop using my external USB hard drive, once I removed the hard drive, the original laptop can no longer play the songs, but the other devices can still download them from the cloud, I kind of wish I could do the same with the laptop as well.  You can only use it with your iOS devices.

Google Music:

I have all my music in a folder called Music in an external USB hard drive.  I downloaded the Google Upload manager program to help me upload my songs.  I told it to upload everything in that folder.  About 13,000 songs.  From those 13,000 songs it couldn’t upload about 200 because they were protected files, understandable.  However it did have to upload all the other ones.  So I really don’t think Google does do any type of music match.  Maybe it does once uploaded, but certainly not for uploading.  It took about 3 days to upload all 13,000 songs.  However, now that I spent the 3 days uploading I have all my songs in the cloud and I can play them all I want on other computers or other devices. 

Good: It’s free storage for up to 20,000 songs!  It allows me to stream my music or download it so music only takes up space in my device when I decide it will.  The Google Music app is working better than ever as well.  I can log in to the google music web site from any computer and play my music.  You can access the website from iOS devices as well.  It can look at your iTunes library and upload that so even if you are an iTunes fan, you can still take advantage. 

Bad: It doesn’t match your songs, this makes the upload process take a lot longer.  No iOS app. 

Conclusion: I think these are both very good services.  A lot of people do mention the fact that Google Music is free and iTunes Music Match is not.  I honestly don’t think this will be a huge deal for anyone, less than 3 bucks a month won’t kill anyone.  I guess the benefit of either service comes before or after the upload.  With iTunes match your upload is much faster and you can store up to 25,000 songs.  So the $25 just seems worth it that first year after saving all that time, not to mention that you just gained the ability to convert all your songs to good high quality DRM free songs.  With Google Music you took longer to upload them but you no longer have to worry about doing that again and now you can stream like crazy without having to worry about the songs taking up space in your device.  Personally I’m more a fan of being able to download or stream, so I seem to be enjoying Google Music the most so far.   But to be fair, I don’t have that many songs I’ve downloaded from iTunes.