Using Google Music

by Volker Weber

Using Google Music
Photo: vowe

I am currently using Google Music (beta) with the Nexus S. There is a client that uploads your iTunes tracks into the cloud and you can stream them on a desktop computer or an Android phone. It's completely transparent. You can have tracks stored on your phone, you can stream the rest over the network and you can restrict this streaming to Wi-Fi only. On top of that the client lets you make tracks from the cloud available right on the phone. It will download them in the background, in my case over Wi-Fi only.

Very cool. You never have to wire the phone to a desktop.

Want to join in? We are organizing an exchange of invites over on Google+.

Comments

I tried Google Music, but I still don't see the advantages over using the already available Subsonic (http://subsonic.org). Maybe it's because I only uploaded 20 GB of my 70 GB of music up to now and therefore can't use my existing playlists. In addition I'm not sure what Google will charge me for 70+ GB of space to store my music.

Subsonic uses the local disk storage, so my PC has to be running if I want to access my music remotely. But since it's running 24/7 this isn't a problem for me. Also my 2 MBit/s upstream is fast enough to upload the music to my Nexus S even when I'm on WiFi (Subsonic doesn't stream the music, the app preloads the next songs while it is playing. They are cached (size configurable) and therefore offline available while they are in cache).

I can also decide if I want to use my mobile connection and configure the bitrate of the songs (to reduce the size of the transferred files). Playlists can be created locally on the PC (m3u format) or from the app, which stores them on the local PC, too. Scrobbeling to last.fm is supported locally and from the app. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS and Windows Phone. The server application is written in Java and available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. I can configure an unlimited number of users, a browser is sufficient to connect to my music collection and listen to it, ...

In addition it supports downloading and listening to Podcasts and Video streaming, but I haven't tried this yet.

Only disadvantages I see compared to Google Music: I'm responsible for the backup of my music. And using the mobile app requires a donation (minimum 10 EUR, no upper limit ). But the developer gives you 30 days to test the app before it will stop working. Using Subsonic with a browser is completely free.

Oliver Schwabedissen, 2011-08-10 07:10

A friend of mine which got my last invite complained he can't install the android app because it's US only. Any help on this?

Dirk Steins, 2011-08-10 07:39

Regarding the Android App: They don't show it in the Market if you are not in the US. So the only way of doing it is to install "Market Enabler" (http://t.co/bjJ2IpF) on a rooted Android phone, switch to appear as being on an American network (I tried T-Mobile US, worked well) and then look again for the Music-app in your phone's market. This is only possible from your Android device, it does not work from the market.android.com site.

Frank Spandl, 2011-08-10 08:18

@Frank Spandl: That's not correct. You can also directly install the .apk file (if you trust the file). Links can be found through Google Search. The disadvantage is that you will get no updates automatically. But you don't have to root your phone.

Oliver Schwabedissen, 2011-08-10 08:24

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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