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back to article Google stealthily coalesces UK music cloud into being

Google has quietly yet finally brought its cloud-based music service to the UK. It's part of Google Play, which is Google's continuing makeover of the scruffy Android Marketplace into a slick cloud storage and playback service for books and mags, movies and music. The magazine department isn't ready yet in the UK, but now the …

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Re: Opposing views

"All I can hear is "you disagreed with my opinion! I hate you!""

In that case allow me to reiterate Mike's points without an insult to latch on to.

- The pricing is, mostly, as good as or better than the competition (iTunes/Amazon)

- Contrary to Andrew's statement, scan and match does work - at least it did for me on the desktop client, which is what everyone I know would use to upload their music.. Not their phone over 3G. It does seem to need your mp3's to be sensibly tagged to be properly effective.

- The free storage on offer is huge, much better than anything else around

- Yes, iTunes has a slightly wider selection of music but Play isn't far off, how much content did iTunes have on UK launch (real question, I don't know the answer)?

I'm not going to go quite as far as Mike and say it should be a glowing review, but Andrew's observations don't match particularly well with my own experience of using it, and as others have pointed out he does have previous when it comes to Google...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Opposing views

You're biased, and you smell of wee!!!!!eleven

(..or whatever the standard claim may be)

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Well

Yes it has tempted me away from paying £30 for iTunes Match, seeing as this is free.

Also pretty damn fast uploading songs, but then i'm not daft enough to try it from a phone.

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Meh

"Uploading is tedious"

Sure is. I uploaded a couple of hundred tracks yesterday - and no sign of scan-and-match in action. Various problems with upload errors and had to resubmit a number of tracks.

Hopefully, if/when scan-and-match kicks in it will also provide decent quality cover images as some of mine weren't too good and so needed searching for and editing/reuploading. That process could be easier too.

Still, good start.

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FAIL

Wrong...

"Although Google is supposed to offer a scan-and-match service, it actually isn't. Scan and match,"

I had a US Google Music account for about 8 months, and it's fantastic. However it took over a month of overnight (unmetered) to upload my stuff (8000 tracks) over my slow(ish) ADSL with 512k upload.

Uploaded the same collection to my missus Google account over 3 nights.

What's happening, if it can find a match, it will, otherwise you have to upload it. Not sure what Andrew Orlowski expects to happen, if Google don't have your track in their catalog. Magic it out of thin air or something???

#FAIL

Google haters are gonna hate it seems....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong...

my *missus's Google account

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong...

my *missus' Google account

...sheesh, if you're gonna be pedantic ...

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Anonymous Coward

No, you are incorrect

There is only one missus.

Sheesh, if you're going to be pedantic, at least make sure you know what you're talking about first.

http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/apostrophe.htm

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on Linux too

I'm currently synching my music on my Ubuntu box, so it's not just Windows and Mac.

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Happy

Works beautifully for me...

It's got a linux upload client, which is something neither Amazon nor iTunes can supply.

It uploaded about 15,000 tracks in a day or so. It converted all my .flacs to 320K mp3 (bar four, for some reason). I have a few albums which are a single .flac + a cue list - that just appeared as a single track. Would like to see that work better.

It skipped over all the .wma (but I only have a few of those).

It found a few tagging errors which caused tracks in a single album to appear split across two identically named albums - but you can fix those easily.

And I can now stream ALL my music to my phone wherever I am - and it's now backed up on the cloud.

I'm happy.

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Its not going to lure me away from Spotify either

On any platform.

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Anonymous Coward

You wouldn't really expect to be uploading from a mobile device anyway, so why mention it?

To upload your CDs, or other music sources the sensible thing would be to do it at home with

a decent PC running "Music Manager" and your normal broadband.

The time this takes obviously depends on the size of your music collection but is relatively

painless so just be patient - it will really be worth it to have total playback portability and the

option of sharing your collection with others.

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Anonymous Coward

How do you share your music collection once it's uploaded?

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Anonymous Coward

" scruffy Android Marketplace "

Fannybois, they're a right bunch of fannys.

Marketplace is better than the shitty old app store, and no crappy iTunes bollox!

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US to UK services

I've been using the US Google Music service for a while and do like it, although, as mentioned, it did take an age to upload my music (and it exceeded by broadband cap so I found myself speed-limited for a while). To be able to buy songs on my device I had to clear the data for the Play Store but everything else seems to have transitioned to the UK version OK. I usually buy MP3s from Amazon but I may switch to Google, although I will always do a price comparison first.

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Stop

Sound quality is a factor

Okay, Google doesn't offer lossless files but the 320K files are better than Amazon's poor offerings. On at least four occasions I've received a refund from Amazon after complaining about the dreadful sound quality of albums I've bought.

In the UK Play and 7Digital also offer 320K MP3 files. So while Google isn't unique I can't see a good reason to continue to buy Amazon's dreadful - and in many cases broken - mp3 files.

Personally I use both of the above and have been using Google's cloud service too for months (thanks to signing up via a vpn). Now the Google store is open I expect to use that quite a bit. I like the android app, the simplicity of pinning music for offline listening and the browser based listening experience.

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"pinning music for offline listening"

Hadn't noticed that, will have to have a look.

The service itself is working very well for me - I uploaded my collection yesterday and I reckon it matched about 2/3 of it - can't see any other explanation for the initial part of the upload being so quick, then it slowing down dramatically during the latter part of the process. The store is a bit quirky, more so browsing on PC than phone, but it may finally tempt me away from the buy-CD-and-rip model I've stuck with so far.

As for replacing swearing with radio friendly edits, I wish it luck doing that with my Kevin Bloody Wilson tracks ;)

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FAIL

Also interesting

that this article fails to mention how much better the encoded music is, and how cheaper it is.

79p for a track, £7.99 for an album. Every instance I tried was considerably more expensive on iTunes and Amazon.

#Fail for fanboy written articles...

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Silver badge

Re: Also interesting

Try Staring At The Sea. Not literally.

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Anonymous Coward

This looks really good. I like the idea of simple multi platform streaming for my music collection, so I grabbed some mp3s and tried to make like a forklift and upload.

It all fell down when it asked my credit card info. For a free service. No alternative payment options and you can't cancel the set up dialogue and drop back to the main page.

Fuck that.

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Holmes

Yes, a free service...

...that they are offering in the hope that users will buy music from their store. They want your card details so they can sell you music. And phones, tablets, movies and apps.

What, you thought they'd set this up just to do you a favour?

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It's necessary

I'm glad it came here, because it's a very necessary service - when you're offering your flagship phones without SD slots and only 8-16GB of onboard storage, something had to give.

I still don't get why exactly they hate the Micro-SD slot, and why they don't add more capacity to their phones if they won't provide it, but at least with this you can access your music on the move. Still I reckon I'll be sticking to Galaxy, rather than Nexus, devices for the forseeable future.

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Facepalm

Been using it a while as noted by using the US vpn connection to activate in the US. It did spend 4 days uploading all my music, but that was over 1000 albums so I expected that, works great, I just wish I could get a decent data allowance from o2 since they forced me to lose my unlimited downloads as I worked out that with my usual listening habits I'd need up to 3gb a month, which surely can't be that unreasonable in this day and age, whereas I get stuck with a 750mb cap which is quite frankly bobbins.

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upvoted

simply for the use of the word "bobbins"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: upvoted

..and upvoted for approving of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Personally I think media download and streaming should be independent from any phone platform maker.

Google push Android.

Apple psuh iOS

Microsoft push Windows Phone.

I'll stick with Amazon.

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Anonymous Coward

Fixed it.

Apple push Apple Hardware

Microsoft push Microsoft Hardware.

Only Google and Amazon and Sony allow your content to be played where YOU want...

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FAIL

Re: Fixed it.

iTunes offers DRM free music and ALAC is an open source format. How does that lock you in? I have no problem using ALAC anywhere aside from Google services it seems. But fortunately I have enough sense not to deal with the advertising company anymore.

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Anonymous Coward

Kindle

You forgot "Amazon push Kindle"

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

User error?

As I had NONE of those problems.

about 70% of my music was matched and uploaded instantly, the other 30% (which wasn't available in Google's catalog of music for sale) was uploaded the old way.

All the music in the store previewed just fine, and all the track pricings I tried were MUCH cheaper than Apple, and always either the same or cheaper than Amazon.

And there is not a single mention of the "Explore Similar Artists" game changer in the Android App Play Store..

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: User error?

"game changer"

...that Spotify has had for ages :-)

C.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: User error?

Spotify costs money.... So fail.....

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: User error?

Spotify is free if you put up with ads. "So fail....."

C.

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Anonymous Coward

Another 'Andrew Orlowski' Google bash

Andrew,

We get it. You don't like Google, you take every opportunity to have a swipe at them, maybe for good reasons, maybe not. But when doing a review of something made by them why not pass it over to one of the other journalists who can produce a useful review with an impartial stance?

Personally, I think the service is pretty good. Well priced, the match service worked for over half the tracks I had. Buying from the store doesn't force you to download, they appear instantly on your devices or the web player. The encoding is one of the best on the market. 20,000 songs storage for tracks not purchased from Google free as well. Offline listening is very easy as is swapping tracks and albums out from online to offline and vice versa. It also has gapless playback.

The whole jukebox with ability to reorder tracks is also pretty cool if you have a party and want to allow people to place songs onto the playlist themselves.

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Undecided

Loved the sound of this when it came out in the US as I was a big big user of Spotify, so when it came out I uploaded all my tracks from my PC and added the URL as an app on my iPhone.

Sadly it was a disappointment on my 4s. I'd pick an album the first track would play and then I would have to unlock the screen to see what it was doing as I was getting nothing once the first track had finished - even when connected on WiFi. It was a painful experience trying to use it on the iPhone in general.

Nexus 4 is on it's way though so someone please tell me they've got a dedicated app for this on the play store?

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someone please tell me they've got a dedicated app for this on the play store?

Yup, the Play Music app updated yesterday to incorporate it. Can't say too much more than a basic "it seems to stream ok" as I haven't used it in anger yet.

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Stop

Re: Undecided

Comes pre-loaded with Google Music App, which is superb.,...

Accessing Google services on an iDevice is always going to be an inferior offering,.,,

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm, linux one isn't cutting it for me

Tried to use it, it seemed not to pick up $http_proxy or anything similar, and thus totally failed. It basically tries to connect before offering any configuration interface for proxies, which means I can't use it on this machine.

(Maybe there is some way to launch it from the command line with proxy specs, but I really can't be arsed to look right now, stuff shouldn't behave like this)

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Doesn't work properly here in IOM - same with Google movies and books. Google doen't like crown dependencies apparently.

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FAIL

Not mentioned...

Had a play with the "music manager", which seems to be more of a bulk uploader, and the decided to ditch it almost instantly when I realised you can only download things you've uploaded a maximum of two times! Sod that, I'll stick to my 50gb Box account and stream from that.

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Re: Not mentioned...

Not according to Gmusic on the web when clicking the download link...

"Each song can be downloaded 2 times on the web. This limit does not apply when you use the Music Manager desktop application to download files to your computer."

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Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Not mentioned...

You're allowed to keep your files on Box but use Google Music for streaming, downloading and native android apps with automatic playlist creation, syncing and all the other benefits. It's not a choice of one or the other.

VERY simple solution for you: don't delete your files after uploading them to Google Music. I've done the same.

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Anonymous Coward

Sharing music

So if all my music is on Google Play and tied to my google account, how does my wife listen to any of it on her android device? She has her own Google account for email and Google services - do we have to maintain separate music accounts and upload everything twice and try to keep them in sync? Or maybe a new account only used for music?

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Re: Sharing music

Either of those would work. But I take your point - it would be nice to be able to share just the music part of your Google account on a permanent basis with, say, up to three other people.

(I think the neatest solution is to have a single account which you share used only for music.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sharing music

When you open the app, you're presented with a list of Google accounts associated with your phone, as well as an Add Account button.

Once you're signed in, it appears you can only choose existing accounts in the settings. Presumably you can just add another account using the main Android account settings and choose the new one once that's done.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sharing music

The same way you can only buy an app and use it on multiple devices but with one account. The Play music store is designed to allow you to buy music. Therefore freely sharing between accounts means that you could just share between all your mates and only buy one of each track/album and all have access to it. Can't see that happening myself.

The record companies decide the terms of the licensing - they are not going to allow a number of people to be able to have free unlimited access to a 99c track.

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Probably just reiterating what's already been mentioned, but here goes

1) Don't upload from your phone.

2) Google Play music manager allows upload from your home PC and you can leave it running to auto-add anything you add there (e.g. add to iTunes) up to the cloud.

3) You don't have to stream ALL your music to your phone. You can 'pin' what you want store/cache locally on your phone (similar to how you can with Spotify) - and just do this over wifi.

4) For me it's not a replacement for spotify - but it's replaced my old music player and ever having to drag files on and off my phone.

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Anonymous Coward

It wont lure me away...

From using my own storage. Why the fuck are people so into giving their stuff to some 3rd party to `look after`??

Liability if you ask me, and you'll have precious little recourse if they lose/damage your data (or let the feds rifle through it on a whim).

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Re: It wont lure me away...

It's not like your local copy gets deleted. This isn't a Star Trek transportation of your precious CD collection.

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