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OK, I guess I'm just dense. Google announced their music in the cloud service "Music Beta" (gee, a Google service in Beta – what a shock). With this service, you can upload up to 20,000 songs and have them available to play on Android devices, Macs and PCs. It's free – for the moment; at some point you'll pay some sort of fee.

So let me get this straight. Instead of putting them directly onto my Android device, my Mac, or my PC, I can spend several hours uploading all these songs to Google, and then pay them for the privilege of accessing them. Why would I do that again?

Really, if you can afford a computer and thousands of songs, I'm betting you can afford a portable music player (iPod or some other brand). Heck, I've gotten some players for free when buying other stuff. 

Of course, you'll need to be near WiFi if you don't want to suck up a lot of bytes on your phone's data plan. And if you've got a phone capable of playing Flash, which is required, you mean you don't have enough space for your music? Buy a music player! May even be cheaper than a year of paying to stream your own music.

You have WiFi at home, but will you use this service there? Presumably, you have your music on a computer (since you uploaded it). Wouldn't you use that as the source at home? So I'm thinking you'd use this when you're out. Of course, then you're searching for a WiFi hotspot or sucking down those data plan bytes again.

That's if you can get to it. What happens when Google's service has an extended outage, like Amazon just did recently? Some people even lost data in that outage. Do you really want to trust your music to the cloud? I can see having it off-site as a backup, but you can buy a cheap disk drive for that and leave it in a safety deposit box or at a friend's house.

One of the other things I've seen touted about this service is "no more syncing to your computer!". Right. Just syncing to Google. Once the bulk of your music is on your device, syncing new stuff is not going to take very long. I'll even bet that a USB connection is faster than your ISP.

If this were a service that would stream you music you didn't already own, I could see some value in it for some folks (not me, but I don't like renting). But paying a storage/access fee for stuff you've already bought? I don't get it.

So please, if you are interested in this service, I really want to know why. What am I missing here?


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4 Responses to Tell Me Why

  1. Milt Anglin says:

    I’m with you Jack. I keep all my music on my computer and on my iPod. I also keep a few playlists on my iPad. I don’t have to worry about finding a WiFi spot or connection speeds. I might be in a place that doesn’t allow cell phone usage and want to listen to music. Music in a cloud sounds like a waste to me.

  2. Ivor Janci says:

    I’m with Jack as well, though I wonder if Apple will offer something similar. Plus isn’t all this streaming going to take up bandwidth, or is the increase in bandwidth capability keeping pace with streaming movies and music?


  3. Jack Beckman says:

    ISP are putting caps on usage, just when more and more streaming options are coming into play. And if you read my posts in the past, you’ll see some of the fun I’ve had with caps while traveling in hotels (or the plain lack of bandwidth).

  4. Mark says:

    Plus don’t forget they are probably collecting data off the stuff you upload and selling it to music companies and advertisers.

    The only benefit I can see to something like this is if you have a music library larger than will fit (or that you want to store) on your phone and would like to access it at any time. I know there are options to access your library from a home network setup, but then you need to leave your computers on at home, etc. But it does seem like the data caps could ultimately interfere with this plan like you mention.