Posted by: Mobile Kugel on May 17, 2011
A chutzpah some say, imperialism argues others.
How it works
Music Beta is a cloud based music streaming service which allows users to upload up to 20 000 songs onto the Google cloud. Once this is done, the user is able to stream their songs from a number of platforms anywhere in the world, be it mobile and computer.
So far, so good.
It is the same principle as accessing your emails from your Gmail (or any other) account. Internet connection, a username and password is all you need.
Question: Would you go to Aldo, buy a killer pair of high heels, donate them to Woolworths and let them control when and where you wear them?
Ya babes, I thought not. This is kind of what Music Beta does.
If you buy a song on iTunes and upload it to your ‘Google Music’ cloud you will not have access to the actual music file on the service to download at another time.
Google has launched Music Beta independently of label support. With no record label endorsement, there is no music store attached to the service, unlike iTunes which has its own library of music.
This means that Google is not able to supply a library for users to purchase from. Rather, users have to upload their own files. The funny thing is, once uploaded; the user cannot download any of their tracks.
The service is so heavily reliant on a good data connection that for us in South Africa, there is no point even fantasizing over it.
Sounds like a balagan. Why would you even bother if you have an iPod or MP3 player?
Amazon vs. Google
Google’s new exclusive service works by invite-only in the US. It is direct competition to the widely acclaimed Amazon Cloud Player which allows one to upload music files to a cloud space and then have access to that music from any point of internet availability.
While both are only available in the US and are Android, mobile and computer friendly, the difference is, Amazon Cloud Player has its own music store containing roughly 15 million songs available for purchase.
Google Music in SA
Google Music is not available in South Africa.
As popular as Android phones are and will become on this continent, BlackBerry’s are ruling the suburban streets these days. This means that the Android App is not exactly enticing.
First of all, babes, if I want my music ‘on the go’ I am going to use my 80GB iPod.
If that fails be due to a dead battery or a hijacking, I would plug my BlackBerry into my computer and click Sync ‘Recently Played’ playlist.
If this fails, I would probably just read a book or stare into space because I am certainly not going to go through +-100MB of data uploading my songs and then nogal have to stream them which would use even more data (most probably mobile data which is even more expensive).
Popular radio station 5fm has recently launched a BlackBerry App that allows you to stream 5fm live on your BlackBerry no matter where you are. The quality is good, even on the EDGE network.
But, my darlings, *Standard Data Rates Apply* so that sweet R59/month does not mean anything.
I am certain that if you run the 5fm BlackBerry App for more than an hour you will be able to rack up a nauseating data bill.
This is exactly the case with Google Music.
Look at the new 8ta packages which gives the subscriber 500Mb of YouTube streaming a month on most of the BlackBerry deals.
If and when this Google Music service becomes available in South Africa then perhaps cell phone networks could potentially make similar partnerships with music cloud services such as in the future.
Music streaming is lighter on data than video streaming, so it is not an impossible offer.
With that said if I were to use the service I would not upload my entire library to the Google Music cloud. It is not a backup storage facility like Dropbox.
I would upload a maximum of say 30-40 of my favourite songs at a time and have access to those when I wanted to listen to them. I would then replenish my Google Music cloud every month or so.
The biggest issue I have is whether or not the service will be worth anything to the average music listener? Or would I rather just save music locally to my iPod and not have to worry about internet availability or streaming quality etc?
Is there internet availability in the US subways?
One thing is for sure, Google obviously has a bigger picture in mind regarding data and internet connection. And I am certain they will make a plan regarding a legitimate music library in good time.
In my opinion, unless I am really missing something, the service for now is average. Google Music will have to do something very special to stand out in this market.
The online music market is a culture that has existed for many years. Music in ones ears must be crisp, should not have to buffer and should be on-demand.
In an ideal world where data is cheap this service would rock. Having access to all the latest songs in your library that syncs seamlessly with your Music Cloud is genius but there is a lot of work to be done.
In the mean time, it is safe to say that Apple’s iTunes and Amazon Cloud Player are the main okes of online music, the bru of the download, the boet of music on demand.
Google Music is for now, the pisher. But we all know what happens to the pisher’s of the world…you end up working for them, so be nice.
Image Source: http://bit.ly/490b2w