Google Play Music finally arrived for iOS. I was happy with Apple’s iTunes Match and the features it provided but not the price.
iTunes Match ($24.99/ per year) allows access to your music library from iTunes on your computer or in the Music app on your iOS device. After using iTunes Match for a year, I found that I didn’t take advantage of the service enough to justify the expense. When it was time to renew I went back to manually syncing music from my computer.
I decided to give Google Play Music a shot, mostly because it is free and provided some great features. Right after installing I was impressed with the user interface and the layout of the app.
It was an easy setup as well. I decided to leave iTunes in charge of my music and have Google Play Music mirror that setup in their cloud. Like iTunes Match Google only uploads songs they don’t have in their library so setup was very fast for my 5,000 songs. Google does limit the library to 20,000 songs but that is more than enough for most users.
Once setup is complete you can listen to your music from any mobile device with the Google Play Music app or via the web based player. You can either stream the music or in my case I have my favorite playlists downloaded onto my iPhone to save mobile data but I have my entire music library available if I decide I want to listen to something not yet downloaded.
Bottom line: Google Play Music gives you an iTunes Match solution for free.
- Your able to stream music without having to worry about device storage
- It’s a free service
- You can have up to 20,000 songs
- A web player is available
- Not compatible with third party apps on iPhone
Google also offers an add-on service (All Access) for $9.99 a month which acts like Spotify / Rdio allowing you to listen to music and create playlists from Google’s Music library. There is a lot of competition in this market and I found using iTunes Radio and Google Play Music you get the best of both worlds at no cost.
Google Play Music is available for Android and iOS via these links.