Google Music: Everything You Need to Know Before You Start

Note: This post was first published on November 25, 2011.

As an alternative to popular online music platforms like Apple iTunes and Amazon MP3, Google has launched its very own music service, Google Music. At a glance, this cloud-based service may seem similar to its competitors. Yet, Google Music offers distinct features that may set it ahead of its rivals.

Google Music is free for all users and is accessible via the web, desktop, and mobile devices. Initially, the service is available only in the U.S. It boasts support from major labels such as Sony Music Entertainment, Universal, and EMI, offering over 13 million tracks. An attractive feature of Google Music is its ability to automatically back up music files from iTunes and various formats including MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, and FLAC.

Still not convinced? Let’s dive into some of its standout features that are sure to capture your interest:

1. Access Free Music

Enjoy daily features like the ‘Song of the Day’, along with exclusive recordings from top artists like the Rolling Stones, Shakira, Busta Rhymes, and Maroon 5. Be among the first to hear their new releases exclusively on Google Music.

free song

With both major and independent labels on board, you’re never short of choices.

2. Effortless Uploading and Downloading

Downloading music via a web browser is limited to two times. Afterward, utilize the Google Music Manager app for seamless downloads and uploads directly to and from Google’s servers.

download listen

3. Store Songs on Google’s Cloud for Free

Store up to 20,000 songs on Google’s cloud at no cost. Enjoy high-quality streaming at 320Kbps across all compatible devices, and keep your music synced wherever you go.

google music store

What sets Google Music apart is its free service, unlike iTunes Match and Amazon’s Cloud Drive.

4. Share Music Through Google+

Integrate your music experience with Google+, Google’s robust social network. Share music effortlessly with friends who can enjoy a full playback of shared songs once for free.

share music google+

Expand your music influence by sharing entire albums purchased from the Android Market.

5. Explore Android Market’s New Music Section

Discover and purchase new music directly from the Android Market. Your purchases will automatically sync with your Google Music library.

free music

6. Join Google Music Artist Hub

As an independent artist, distribute and sell your music directly on Google Music Artist Hub. Set your own prices and keep 70% of the revenue. For a one-time fee of US$25, you can reach millions of potential fans.

more music

Google Music offers a unique platform for artists to grow their fanbase.

7. Offline Sync

Google Music’s offline capabilities ensure you enjoy uninterrupted music, even without an internet connection. Songs recently played are automatically stored in your device’s cache for offline access.

sync mobile

Select your favorite tracks to be available offline and keep your music playing no matter where you are.