May 16 AT 2:54 PM Russell Holly 40 Comments

Why Google Voice is the reason I’m not ready to move to Google Music

The crowd erupted in applause as the curtains were finally pulled back on the year-long tease that was the new and improved Google Music. Functional on everything with a browser, as well as the tablet and smartphone. Finally! A real, native music solution for Android users, and an amazing cloud layer on top of that to make sure you’ve always got access to your tunes.

Like other Google apps for Android, however, the app is closed source, and there are currently no API’s to allow developers with existing music apps to bring Google Music into apps that are already being used by millions of Android users. The question that weighs heavy on my mind now is will Google Music be the massively successful utility Android needs, or will it be just another app?

My biggest reason for suspicion is Google Voice. I love Google Voice. It’s something I am now unable to use a phone without. As time passed, I hoped that Google would do the right thing and open the service up to function with the now hundreds of apps within the Android Market that collectively do some REALLY cool things with SMS. Services like Vlingo, Handcent, and more are completely unusable for me since Google Voice is my primary number. Despite the many updates, API’s don’t exist for app developers to utilize this service.

Out of the box, Google Music is no different. Despite the amazing features, I’d love to see integration with apps I already use, like my playlist data shared with apps like Slacker Radio to build a better radio station, or to give me lyrics to the songs I want to hear through TuneWiki. What about Google Music’s ability to function with my Sonos multi-room music system? At the moment, this won’t happen, and there’s little indication that things will change.

During the Fireside Chat with the Android team at Google I/O, a music developer posed a question to the panel that made me write this piece to begin with. “Should I just quit now, since everyone is going to use Google Music?”

Ultimately it will be up to Google to make their apps interface better with their own developers. Google loves data, but they don’t seem overly keen on sharing it. Until this changes, I’m probably going to steer clear of Google Music for now.

I write things.

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  • http://Website CSM

    This isn’t news….mark it as an opinion piece in the title, a tag isn’t enough. Waste of my time.

    • http://Website Batfan


    • Aspeds2989

      I think it’s obvious from the title that this is an opinion me.. Pardon me if I’m mistaken?

    • http://Website Lemon

      CMS you whiny bitch. If the title wasn’t enough to tell you that then you need to go back to school and brush up on reading and comprehension…

    • http://Website marc

      Although it is an opinion piece, or rather an opining piece, he poses some interesting ideas. I personally think that it will just be another mediocre, fall-short app that will just stumble and fall on its face right before it gets to the finish line like all the rest of Google’s assets. I am not flaming, I giving my own opinion and I stand by it.

  • http://Website mikeyDroid

    You need to go buy an iPhone. :D

    • http://Website sabio

      Why? So you can even LESS integration??

      • http://Website Mikeydroid

        Welcome to the wide world of sarcasm folks. Defensive much guys?

  • Hugh Isaacs II

    Actually Google is working on a Google Voice API.
    It’s secretly out right now, but I’m guessing it’s unfinished.

    You can find it here:

    Also, this isn’t much of an excuse but the Google Music Android app complies with anything that works with the existing Android Music app, so things like Equalizer apps and integrate with it beautifully.

    So it’s limited mostly, but at least that TuneWiki and maybe the Sonos ideas are possible (only on Android though).

  • Deter

    What happened to the days when the articles here were actually news, and information on what to look forward to. Any more all the articles are a pessimistic slander piece about what you don’t like on android.

    You could at least mark these articles as opinion pieces in the title as CSM above me suggested. That way when i get the tweet with nothing but the article name i know what i’m in for.

    • http://Website Kevinthebox

      If you don’t like it, go to another blog. That simple. The reason Android and Me is a cut above everyone else IMO is bc of opinionated articles, be it “pessimistic” or not.

    • http://Website Tyler

      So when you saw the title on your twitter feed, “Why Google Voice is the reason I’m not ready to move to Google Music,” the word “I’m” didn’t scream ‘opinion’ to you?

  • http://Website Dylan Andersen

    Uhhh you know you can port your number to Google Voice, right? You can use any shitty messaging client that way.

    • Russell Holly

      Sprint is the only carrier who won’t flag you for ETF for porting a number under contract. I appreciate that you took the time to ignore my point though.

  • http://Website Wally

    …i knew it was an opinion piece after reading the headline. Key words: “why, i’m, and not”

    Thanks for the read.

    • Russell Holly

      Thanks for reading!

  • Ben Pike

    …I want that 2 minutes of my life back…

    • http://Website dneff

      Amen, lol

  • http://Website Dev1359

    Cool story bro

  • alamoe

    Why all the negative comments? I must be the only one who gets tired of every blog just reposting stories from another blog. It’s refreshing to have a site that will actually give you some negatives & positives about android instead of just posting about “rumored devices, ” etc.

    • http://Website Don

      Yes it is nice to hear an opinion. The problem is that our friend Mr. Holly seems very pessimistic. Lately every article he writes is “why I hate this”. It seems that he just wants a entry level Android that does everything perfect.

      • Russell Holly

        You should check out my Optimus Black review, which I will now change the title of to “The entry level Android that does everything perfect”

        • http://Website Thaghost

          My opinion Is that ur an ass…just my opinion.

  • Gonçalo Silva

    I find it refreshing that a blog like this doesn’t solely rely on fanboyism for its content. This post expresses a valid (and interesting) opinion, just like the last one from this author did.

    Anyway, I just wished that both services were available outside the US.

  • Nickedynick

    Ive been following Android and Me for a while now because I believed that it was the best written and most accurate blog which coverage Android.

    In the last couple of days you’ve really made me start to doubt that assessment. You’re not the biggest site, but the quality was more important than having tons of commenters. I’d recommend returning to that form and getting away from this type of dreary non-story quickly.

  • http://Website JaylanPHNX

    Mr. Holly, you took the words right out of my mouth. The first thing I thought when the details of Google Music were announced was, “Cool. Now if only I could link PowerAmp to it.”

    • http://Website BrandonJD

      I agree. I use powerAmp because it has a built in equalizer, so I can add more base and take out some of the treble when listening to music. I would gladly use google music exclusively if it had such a robust equalizer.

  • http://Website 657

    i have itunes which is superior and its the market leader

    • http://Website Kevin

      And for the niche market that has Apple desktop products it’s probably still the best choice. for the rest of us, windows and linux users, it’s a piece of junk. Compared to the available music inventory/player apps, a joke really.

      And this is an android site so iphones aren’t part of the conversation in the mobile apps space. Nah, I prefer android since it’s a phone that I can do wtf I want to with, instead of the phone Jobs wants you to have. But more power to ya. Nice devices, no question. Just not nearly geeky enough for me. Sort of for the dumbed down consumer. But for your sector, still a good choice.

    • AME



  • Tenkely

    Dick Cheeseburger.

  • http://Website Androidawg

    Oh my God, the author criticized the great Google. Burn the house!!!!!

  • http://Website Thomas Wimberly

    I moved to iTunes and never looked back.
    Its that good, almost brilliant and spectacular!

  • http://Website Adontai

    There are a lot of legal reasons why it may not be possible for Google to allow Google Music to function with other apps the way you might be wishing. I also think Google does have a right to have some closed products and apps, just as you have the right to choose a different service or develop a competing service that offers the functionality that you are looking for. I for one though am excited about Google Music, and should the music companies enter into a legal arrangement with Google I think it has the potential to be an Itunes and Amazon music store competitor.

  • pixeladdikt

    i love how russell can read through all these comments and reply individually :) he can post whatever he wants – they are his opinions – unlike other goog fanboyz he can actually articulate his position whether it’s bad or good – keep doing your thing man!

  • http://Website Androidlove

    So… without diving head first into the great “Is Russel an fair-minded, free-thinker or just an ass wipe” debate, I want to say that, whichever (if either) is true, the fact is, the bulk of comments following Russel’s posts seem to be debating whether or not he is a valid contributer to the blog, and not about the blog content itself. That, to me, says he’s probably not doing himself or androidandme any favors.
    Having said that, I personally don’t mind getting other perspectives on things. Fortunately we all possess (or should possess) the ability to take multiple facts and opinions and digest them down to formulate our OWN opinion on any given topic.
    I am stoked for Google Music and don’t share Russel’s concerns because initially, I’m not looking for the perfect World solution. I’m looking for a cloud based Google Music player and I’ve got one. The rest will come. Even God took 7 days to create the World :)
    Is anyone else stoked about the possibilities of the Tungsten device they showed???

  • http://Website mikemick

    I currently use Amazon’s cloud services for music. However, I use a different app to actually play the music. I just download the songs from within the Amazon app I want, then I’m off.

    The songs being played/cached/downloaded from Google Music aren’t proprietary formats right? They are just MP3′s or whatever the music file format is. So, the Google Music app isn’t required to PLAY the files.

    I envision, pinning the music I want via the Google Web interface, or via the Google Music app, and then playing those pinned songs in whatever music app I choose.

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