May 10 AT 3:17 PM Alberto Vildosola 28 Comments

Google Music is finally here, here’s everything you need to know

After a whole year of waiting, Google has finally announced its cloud music service, Music Beta by Google. Product Manager at Google, Paul Joyce, unveiled the service during this morning’s keynote at Google I/O in San Francisco. While everything we heard about the service last night turned out to be true, Google shed some light on how the whole thing will work.

The service will initially be invitation-only and available just for those in the U.S. When talking about pricing, Google promised that the service will be free, at least for the beta period.

If you manage to get an invitation, Music Beta by Google will allow you to store 20,000 of your songs on Google’s servers. You’ll be able to do this by using a small piece of software that’ll upload the music files stored on your hard drive. This tool will also let you upload all the playlists that you have on iTunes or Windows Media Player.

The service will then sync — via the cloud — your songs and playlists across all Android phones and tablets you own. Additionally, users will be able to listen to their music files using the very slick-looking Music web app. The web app will also allow you to easily create a playlist based on one song. Google calls this feature InstantMix, and believes it’s a “truly ingenious” feature — an obvious poke at Apple’s iTunes Genius feature.

Once you’re on your Android device, Music will constantly sync your music with the cloud. Making any changes you make appear almost immediately on the Music web app — and vice versa. The Android app will keep a cache of the songs you listen to most, for those times when you don’t have an Internet connection. If you want to download a specific song or album, you’ll able to “pin” them and the app will save them to your Android device.

While Music Beta by Google shows promise, there are currently two big features missing from it. One of them is being able to buy songs and the other one is recognizing which songs you already own so you don’t have to upload them.

Both of these features require Google to strike a deal with record labels. But like we heard yesterday, record companies are not interested in what Google is offering them. Instead, they’re trying to impose terms that are “unreasonable and unsustainable.” That usually means that they want to milk consumers as much as possible with high prices, and DRM-protection. For a company like Google — best-known for its free products — this is unacceptable.

Even though the service has some shortcomings, we’re glad Google has decided to go ahead and release it once and for all. Hopefully, record companies will realize this is the way forward and sign a deal with Google in the near future.

Google Music Google Music Google Music Google Music Google Music Google Music


Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Nickedynick

    At the keynote they seemed to imply that the app would be functional as a normal music player for those without beta access. So why can’t anyone outside the US download it?

    • http://Website Dennis

      Calm down. They obviously have their reasons and probably have to work a whole bunch of kinks out before releasing it on a wide scale.

      • Nickedynick

        Sorry, that wasn’t meant to sound as impatient as it obviously does! Just genuinely wondering…

        • keridel

          I’m impatient! They said it wouldn’t take long to get google voice around the world. It never happened. They said we would get google tv and that has never happened. They said we would get google books and that has never happened. Now we don’t get movies or music.

          You can see why we in the rest of the world get a little irate..

          • http://Website Dennis

            Google is based here in the U.S. What were you expecting?

          • keridel

            to be honest dennis i expect more from the 2nd largest company in the world. that’s THE WORLD. i know google and amazon see the world as 2 countries (America and not America) but you would think they would know by now that there is more.

            the percentage of people using android in the uk for example is more than the U.S. that has to mean something surely…

          • Mike

            @Dennis, not to mention that there are no longer any technical challenges, the internet itself is worldwide, whoever is setting these ridiculous limitations for the needs to seriously re-examine these as in a world where the internet can even exist, this kind of thinking is obsolete. And I know Google is not ultimately responsible for this.

            I’m from America and I want to see my worldly neighbors (all of you), enjoy all of what Google has to offer us.

    • http://Website bpear96

      iTunes is a totally different service then google music (well,at its current state)

  • M3rc Nate

    Really cool, but i dont like the idea of paying for this. Would be cooler if Amazon Cloud hadnt come out first. I have been using that and it seems exactly the same. Add all my songs to Amazons Cloud, access them on my G2, and play them from the Cloud (no space used) and can click “download’ to permanently DL to my phone.

    • daveloft

      Currently Google offers storage attached to your account for use with Gmail, Picasa Web Albums, and Google Docs. Google provides 1 GB for free.

      20 GB ($5.00 USD per year)
      80 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
      200 GB ($50.00 USD per year)
      400 GB ($100.00 USD per year)
      1 TB ($256.00 USD per year)

      I would assume that Google Music would use the same storage and pricing but also offer addition storage for free.

      Compare this pricing to Amazon and you will see that Google’s service is 1/4 the price. This lower price may force Amazon to lower theirs which benefits all of us.

    • AME

      Amazon is nice and all, but it takes FOREVER to upload to their cloud. I couldn’t believe how slow it was. I hope Google is better than Amazon in that respect.

  • http://Website Batfan

    “record companies are not interested in what Google is offering them”

    Really now? That seems to contradict this quote:

    “Unfortunately, a couple of major labels only wanted to [sell music through us] at terms that were unreasonable…the majority of the [music] industry sees what we’re trying to do and are very excited by the possibilities of what we showed you today…What we launched today is a completely legal service. in the same way you might move your collection to a portable mP3 player or a backup hard drive.”

    – Jaime Rosenberg, Director of Digital Content for Android

  • http://Website Manuel

    Not available outside of US?
    Fuck you Google.

    • http://Website anonymous

      America…FUCK YEAH!

      We get it first cuz we’re the mother fucking best, YEAH!

      • keridel

        Or because google are lazy xenophobes?

        • http://Website a foreigner who is not up set about this

          Its a BETA! What don’t you people understand?! They release it to a small group before releasing it to the entire world. Google is a U.S. company, it only makes sense that they do the beta in their own country.

          • http://Website Batfan

            Exactly right.

          • keridel

            i am not upset by this one thing.

            i am upset by the cumulative amount of things. you are focused on the one “beta” music app i have issues with the lack of worldwide support. half the countries who can buy android phones still cant use the market for goodness sake.

            it doesnt make financial sense for them to limit their market to so few people.

    • http://Website Manuel

      Not available outside of US??
      Fuck you Google.

      • http://Website Manuel

        Not available outside of US????
        Fuck you Google.

  • Aspeds2989

    Google needs to buy Rdio asap.. If you use Rdio you would know immediately the potential of such a merger.

  • mmitchum

    Kind of sucks that the player doesn’t have lock screen controls. If it did, I’d use it as my default player. Has a pretty nice UI.

    • http://Website Batfan

      Agreed. I’m hoping this comes soon in an update.

  • orginn

    Great app, but it doesn’t have anything in power amp

  • http://Website Nakia

    Force close

  • http://Website RhynosAndroid

    I didn’t see this in the article, but at the google music website, (also linked in the article) is where you can request a beta invitation.

    It’s not a promise to get in, but google had similar request areas for both the failed wave (which is truly unfortunate, because if you played w/it, the potential of what could be done was amazing!) and voice, both of which I got into w/i a week of filling out the request. This was during the closed beta of both. So if you didn’t know, hit it up and if you did, well, hopefully I got mine in first…

    • AME

      I’m seriously bummed about Wave. That was incredible.

      I got my Wave invite from somebody off ebay for $1. Maybe Google Music invites will be available similarly.

  • LittleDebbie11

    Haha! Score, TeeFury shirt on the Google music guy!