Archive for ‘Google Music’

November 20, 2011

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?

 

June 19, 2011

Apple releases iCloud!

BY THE APPLE GIRL

Last week, Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s new iCloud service to be released this Fall. iCloud stores your email, calenders, contacts and automatically pushes them to all your devices. The new digital hub ensures all your devices – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac – are instantly synced and updated when anything changes on any device. The best part of it all is that it is FREE (5GB of free storage for mail, documents and backups; purchased music, apps and books don’t count)! and of course, as Jobs says, “it just works” (effortlessly)
The free iCloud service includes:
  1. Email, Calenders, Contacts – The former MobileMe services which previously cost $129 per year is now free. All your email, calenders, contacts are uploaded to the cloud and synced with all your devices. 
  2. Backup – iCloud backs up your purchased music, apps, books, camera roll, device settings and app data on all your iDevices. No need to spend an entire sunday afternoon on a backup project! 
  3. Documents in the cloud – Any document you edit will be automatically pushed to the iCloud and you can access it on any of your other Apple devices instantly. 
  4. App Store and iBookStore – Simply tapping the iCloud icon will download any apps or books you have downloaded earlier on any iOS device. 
  5. Photo Stream – uploads all your photos to the cloud and is built into all the iOS devices, Mac, PC and Apple Stream.The last 1000 photos photos are stored on each device and all the photos on your Mac or PC. Apple stores the photos on the cloud for up to 30 days. In other words iCloud doesn’t save all your photos, it only ensures that all your devices are in sync.
  6. iTunes in the cloud – It automatically saves all your new music in the cloud and downloads all your iTunes music to any Apple device at no additional charge.
  7. iTunes match – Apple also offered up a new service called the iTunes match for music not bought through iTunes. It basically scans all your music and matches it with the version of the song available through the iTunes store and uploads the rest to the cloud, thus cutting down the upload time from weeks to minutes. The pricing on iTunes match is $24.99 for upto 20,000 songs. Finally, a music upload service that GoogleChic will be happy to compare Google with 🙂 (Watch out for our cloud music war blog!)

Watch Apple’s keynote video here (Skip to 79:00 for the iCloud update). 

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC

Overall, iCloud has a couple of features that I would like to see on Android. However, a lot of the features are not new for Android users 🙂

Here’s the breakdown comparing iCloud to Android.

1. Email, Calendars, Contacts -This is nothing new for Android users, we’ve had this FREE (yes FREE) feature since day one. All these items have always been on the cloud for us. 

2. Backup– Being able to sync everything to the iCloud is pretty nice. Right now on Android, music, apps, books and  pictures are all stored on the SD card (well most of the apps). Since it’s stored on the SD card,  even if your device dies, you’re able to pop the SD card out of your device and place it on your new device. However, just in case the SD card gets corrupted, I wouldn’t mind having all these items sync to the cloud.

3. Documents in the cloud  – Google Docs have been around for quite awhile.  If I update my docs on my laptop, I can see the changes instantly on my phone 🙂

4. App Store and iBookStore  -I do have to say that being able to purchase an app and have it automatically distribute/sync on all your devices is pretty cool. Hopefully we’ll see this feature on Android in the near future. 

5. Photo Stream – Sounds like Picasa to me. Right now we have to manually upload our photos to Picasa, so having an automatic feature would be nice. However, once it’s uploaded to Picasca, the pictures can be accessed across different devices. If I log onto to a tablet device, as soon as I sign in it pulls all of the pictures I’ve uploaded to Picasa and downloads it to that device.

6. iTunes in the cloudMusic Beta was recently introduced by Google and I have to say it’s super sweet! It syncs all your music to the cloud server so that you can access it on any device. It even syncs your playlist across all of your devices which I find pretty kool. If you’re offline, it has the ability to play recent songs which you have listend to.

7. iTunes match – This is what iTunes match sounds like to me. For all those songs you got for “free”, just pay Apple $25 instead and you won’t have to upload it. Hmmm, Jobs must have made a pretty good deal with the record companies. I’m sure Apple isn’t keeping the full $25. Sorry, I rather take “weeks” to upload my music than pay any $$! Oh, and why hasn’t Google released their pricing for storing the music? Well, because it’s free for now!


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