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Does Cloud Music Even Matter? Why Google Music Isn’t For Me



The Google Music Beta has  just launched, asking you to upload all the music files you keep on your computer to the cloud so that you can access them from almost any Internet connected device. At first, a cloud music service for your own media sounds like a great idea, I know it sounded awesome when I signed up for the Google Music Beta — then it all turned into a lot of work.

You see, I listen to a ton of music. It’s rare to find me near a computer, phone or tablet without some type of music playing, but I don’t own a lot of music. Somewhere I still have a collection of iTunes protected files collecting digital dust and somewhere else there is a hard drive with all of my ripped CDs, but aside from a few bands that can’t be found on music services I don’t really own music because it’s too much of a hassle.

Google Music Beta

Instead, I moved to the cloud 3 or 4 years back by signing up for services like Rhapsody and Pandora which actually allows me to get my music on my Android phone, iPad 2 and any web browser on a Mac or PC. Do I own this music? Not a chance, but I do get to listen to almost any artist’s entire back catalog without hunting through my own mismanaged folders and external hard drives. Instead, I simply search for the musician or album I want and I can hear it instantly. Perfect for listening to an old favorite, or some new song I wouldn’t even want to waste cheap storage space on in a week.

When I get even lazier, I turn to my Pandora One subscription to get music that fits a genre or artist without the need to slog through a collection of folders to build the perfect playlist. You know, how you used to make mix CDs back in High School. Well, at least high school for me, some of you may have never burned a DVD and others remember making a mix tape off of radio requests.

Putting my own music in the cloud, and finding the songs I want  is as much a pain as calling in and making a radio request, standing by, hitting record at the right time and keeping that cassette in the car.

Is there a place for cloud music services like Google Music Beta? I’m sure they matter to someone, just not me. I’d rather click play then look for a specific file all day. If I want to make a playlist I’ll login to Rhapsody and search for my favorite artists and hard to remember songs and make a playlist. I can even, gasp, download a local copy of playlists to my portable devices.

If you want to find out if Google Music is for you, check out our Google Music Beta Hands On which dives into uploading, web playback and the Google Music Android app.



  1. Steviant

    03/06/2012 at 12:47 am

    I sync a playlist of 500 or so songs to my iphone and android phone, of those, a friend’s iTunes match found somewhere on the order of 120 songs –far worse than 50%.

    I can’t test Rhapsody or Pandora in my country, so I can’t say for sure, but I imagine they would suck even more than iTunes, providing me with no way to store my music in the cloud if they don’t have what I want to listen to.

    If you’re into the pathetic garbage that passes for commercial music then you might enjoy Pandora or Rhapsody, but people with even slightly eclectic musical tastes are up the proverbial creek without a paddle when they try those services, not to mention that they won’t work if you travel outside the USA.

    So I dare say the 6.8 billion or so of us who don’t live in the USA probably care about the only viable cloud music service in our country, the billion or so of us per year who spend time as overseas tourists probably care about being able to access their cloud music wherever they land, and those who occasionally find themselves with no internet connection probably appreciate the fact that songs are cached on their device after listening because they actually own the songs.

    But hey, people who do things differently to you are stuck in the past or something, right?

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