Feeds

Google stealthily coalesces UK music cloud into being

Maybe it's on my phone already? Do I care? Probably not

The essential guide to IT transformation

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 music section is.

There's two parts to the service. One is an online locker that can hold up to 20,000 tunes for playback anywhere. A helper app for Windows or Mac scans your iTunes folder, or folders of your choice, for files to copy to the cloud. On our test rig it picked out iTunes playlists and offered to upload them individually - but not iTunes Smart Playlists.

Google Play - no sign of Scan and Match here

Uploading is tedious. Although Google is supposed to offer a scan-and-match service, it actually isn't. Scan and match, where it does work, populates your cloud locker with a decent quality copy of your songs it identifies, but from its own cloud servers. (Decent quality, relatively speaking.)

This means each song doesn't have to be piped up across a slow uplink; when a song is identified, the software just copies the data between the cloud servers as the music is already over there. This is built into Apple's iTunes in the Cloud. Our test uploads to Google Play maxed out the smartphone's 3G uplink at 200kbit/s.

The second part is an online DRM-free download store, offering songs at prices closer to Amazon's than Apple's. The xx's Coexist costs £6.49 from Google and Amazon, and £7.99 from iTunes; the new Robbie Williams album costs £7.99 from Google, £7,49 from Amazon and £11.99 from iTunes. The latest Rolling Stones greatest hits package Grrr! costs £11.49 from Google, and £12.99 from iTunes. We had difficulties in previewing tracks, however, even using bog-standard FireFox.

Overall, it's probably good enough for Android devices, but not compelling enough to lure Kindle owners away from Amazon's store nor iPad owners from iTunes. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?