Google’s Music Store Looks Nice, But Thinks My Cash Ain’t Nothin’ But Trash.

This post has a soundtrack.  Sadly, not one from Google Music.

I was all excited to read today that Google’s music store is open for business.  Though I love me some Apple, I do not love iTunes and do not buy my music there.  Historically, I have bought almost all my music from Amazon.  Those purchases get downloaded into a folder that is monitored by Google’s Music Manager, and then uploaded to Google Music, my current clear favorite in the musical cloud.

At least as it relates to managing and accessing your existing music.  Most of my actual music listening is done via Spotify.

So, I ran over to Google Music and started surfing the Music Store.  Other than a general dislike of the omnipotent Android name and logo (don’t own an Android device; tried one and found it underwhelming), it looks OK.  I decided to give it a try, and buy a great old record by Tandy.


And things went horribly wrong.  I had a major problem logging into the Google Music Store.  Clicking the Purchase button takes you to the following screen.


Clicking the Continue Button takes you to the following screen.


Clicking the Sign In Button takes you to the Google account sign in page.  Once you sign in, you end up back at the Continue screen.  Clicking the Continue Button takes you right back to the screen above.

Over and Over.  See how easy it is to access and link to Spotify?  But I digress.

Maybe this is some sort of a cookie-related thing.  Or maybe, but surely not, it’s another Google Apps thing.

So I logged out of my Google Apps account and tried the same thing with my old regular Google Account.  Thankfully for my karma, the same thing happened.  So I tried on another computer.  Same thing.

Maybe these are just opening day kinks.  I hope so.

If not, there’s always Amazon.

Editing in the Cloud: The Killer Feature that Gives Google Music the Cloud Advantage

googlemusicI was pretty excited when Amazon beat the crowd that matters to the cloud with the Amazon Cloud Player.  Since I buy all of my music from Amazon, it is convenient to have my music purchases sent directly to my Amazon cloud, for immediate playing, and downloading only as needed.

I was so excited, in fact, that I bought a bunch more cloud space and began the arduous process of moving my huge music collection to the cloud.

But there was a little problem.  Like many audiophiles, I am pretty anal where my music tags and artwork are concerned.  If I see a mislabeled genre or mixed up album cover, I need- who am I kidding, I simply must have- a way to quickly fix it.

On the Amazon cloud, that’s not all that easy to do.  Amazon doesn’t (yet) provide a way to edit song or album details from the cloud.  You have to download the songs you want to fix, delete them from the cloud, fix them locally and then re-upload them.

That’s sort of a drag.  Figuratively and literally.  I also find Amazon’s music uploader less than elegant and not very reliable.

With Google’s recent introduction of Google Music, there is a new competitor in the cloud.  While it’s early,  I think I slightly prefer Google’s look and feel.


But probably not enough to outweigh the ability to send my Amazon purchases directly to my Amazon cloud.  However, I quickly discovered a feature that tips the scale decidedly in favor of Google.  It’s much more appealing than Lady Gaga.  It’s the ability to edit from the cloud!





At the end of the day, the process to get my new music from Amazon to Google Music is pretty simple, and automated.  I configured Google Music Manager to monitor my Amazon download folder, and automatically upload whatever shows up there.

I agree that Apple may one day deliver a cloud-dominating knock-out punch, but that may take some time, as you can never count out the innovation adverse music industry (as an aside, I get a few dollars from BMI every quarter or so, and I still can’t abide the obstacles these organizations keep tossing on the path to access).  They may be trying to protect someone’s income, but I’m not certain it’s the songwriters’.

In any event, I’m pretty excited about Google Music.  The 20,000 song limit will prevent me from moving all of my music there (at least until cheap extra storage becomes available, like Amazon offers).

But as of now, it’s leading the race to become my default music manager.  Stay tuned, however, because the race is just beginning.

About this Google Music Thing

As we all now know, I have totally capitulated to Google.  And I love me some music.  So I was interested when I read that my new master was going to release a music search thingy.  Until I read more about it.  Then it made me sad.  Not as sad as the lack of folders in Evernote makes me.  But sad.

Partnering up with MySpace?  Are you kidding me.  Now that Geocites is gone, MySpace rules supreme as the most butt-ugly collection of bad web design on the internet.  Lala?  What about Tinky Winky and Po?  Pandora has been a favorite of mine for years, but even they did their part to screw up the internet recently by letting people litter their Facebook and Twitter feeds with 30-second song clips, and then acting like that was a good thing.

I’d rather hear Edward Scissorhands play a Jonas Brothers song on a chalkboard that listen to a 30-second clip of anything.  Is this 2009 or 1995?  Rhapsody?  It took me a decade to rid my computer of all the Real Networks bloatware.  No way am I going to get snared in that net again.

But being a good little Google minion, I had to check out its new baby.  So I dutifully searched for my new favorite band, the Wrinkle Neck Mules.


OK, nothing too horrifying there.

I clicked on the play button beside Medicine Bow.


And it played, via Lala.  Hmmm.  Cool, but I want to hear Lowlight, the biggest of my numerous Mules song-obsessions.  So like the internet-savvy cat I am, I clicked on the “More songs” link.  I got a list of 61 songs.  No Lowlight, but I found the incredibly wonderful Mecklenburg County.


And it  played too, not in a pop-up player like before, but in the player at the top of the Lala page.

OK, so what about the little sharing button up there.  In the name of all that is sacred, no clips please.  Let’s send this to my Facebook page and see what happens.


Damn, the song plays right there.  Now I’m starting to be impressed.  I just know there’s a catch.  Let’s look at the Lala help pages.


OK, now I get it.  You can listen once.  When I tried to play the song again from my Facebook page, I was confronted with the most horrifying thing.


A 30-second clip.  The horror.

Actually, it’s not all that bad.  If I can let all my Facebook friends hear the entirety of a song once, that’s still semi-cool.  I don’t know that I’ll do it a lot, but I may send a song or two along.  At the end of the day, this seems like a way for Google to capture a lot of the growing music search market, which it wants for ad-serving purposes, and for Lala and some of the other services to get (or more likely buy) a lot of exposure.

I’m not blown away by any means.  But it’s probably a worthwhile addition to our music sharing toolbox.