Feeds

Google stealthily coalesces UK music cloud into being

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.