Google Music vs. iTunes vs. Amazon MP3

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Last week Google announced its iTunes competitor, Google Music, a web-based music store currently only available in the US. It’s interesting to see that Google is trying to play catch up with Apple on many of Apple’s products, while Apple is quietly carving away new products and markets. I am sure GoogleChic won’t like to hear it 🙂 

Here’s my unbiased attempt to spell out the differences between Google Music and iTunes. For a very brief overview scroll down for Huffington’s breakdown on iTunes, Google Music and Amazon MP3 

  • Cost: Google Music provides free storage of 20,000 songs for free while Apple provides free storage for songs bought on iTunes and $24.99 per year for iTunes match – for up to 25,000 songs that you haven’t bought on iTunes.
  • Access:  On Google Music, you can access your music via a web interface.  Using iTunes match on a desktop would require the iTunes. On your iOS devices you have seamless access and I don’t have to say much about Apple’s intuitive interface.
  • Storage space: You get 25,000 song storage on iTunes match while 20,000 on Google Music.
  • Upload:  Each song on Google Music is uploaded manually and would probably suck up a lot of time, while iTunes match “matches” your song with its own digital library and doesn’t really upload the song from your computer saving you some upload time.
  • Quality: Whatever the quality of music you have, iTunes Match gives you the high quality 256 kbps AAC, while Google just stores it in whatever format you have. While legitimizing your ripped songs, Apple is also giving you the best quality audio. 
  • Catalog size: Google Music offers over 13 million songs available for purchase. One missing piece in Google Music is Warner Music Group, third largest record label in the music industry, holding approx 20 percent of the market share. Google is still to finalize deals with Time Warner Music. Apple has agreements with all the four big wigs EMI, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, so obviously you can buy across a wider range of music than Google Music.
  • Social Networking: Google Music is integrated with Google+ and Apple has its own music network called Ping, one of it’s failed products. Google+ allows users to post individual tracks to their Google+ pages where friends get one time free listen of each track. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google+ doesn’t give Google Music the expected edge since Google + hasn’t done much to steal away Facebook’s subscribers.

At the end it comes down to “Will Google beat Apple’s iTunes eco system?” There is a big gaping music hole in the Apple vs. Google war. The only things, in my opinion, that Google has to its advantage is the accessibility and cost, which probably appeals to a wider audience, but there are other forces like Amazon that Google has to beckon with before it starts hurting Apple and the iTunes consumer base Apple has built up over the years. What do you think?

 

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