There’s been so much hype about Apple Music lately, so I just had to make a post like this.
Disclaimer: I use Macbooks with MacOs and Pixel phones with Android. So I can’t fully test iOS apps and there’s still no Apple Music client for Android. Mostly I’m talking about features of both platforms, how are they similar and different.
Google Music = Apple Music + iTunes Match.
How are they similar
- Both Apple and Google use almost the same music library they get from big labels.
- Pricing is almost the same.
- Both offer an interesting choice of smart radio stations.
- With iTunes Match (sold separately) and GM you can upload your own music library to the cloud.
- You can download any time all your purchased and uploaded music.
- You can cache any available music to the device to listen offline.
- Some music is available only to buy, not to stream (like the Beatles).
- Social and exclusive content from artists!
- Longer trial period.
- Family access plan!
- Probably better iOS app
- It’s Apple!
- iTunes Match is sold separately.
- Worse prediction of your tastes and worse recommendations.
- Bad support for other platforms.
- Free radio! (US accounts)
- Free upload of 50k songs. (similar to iTunes Match)
- Web browser version.
- YouTube music videos without ads.
- YouTube with background playback and offline playback.
- Awesome recommendations based on your search and YouTube history and everything else Google knows about you.
- Try iOS client for yourself, I don’t know how good it is.
- No Family access plan.
I had a really big collection of music 1-2 Tb I think. And it’s always been a great challenge to organize it. So there were dozens of “!!!New” folders and a questionable sorting by genres. I tried different programs like MusicBrainz to put tags on the tracks, but it didn’t work good enough. And the second biggest problem were playlists manually organized just with a folder structure, but hell with them.
When I just moved to OSX and Macbook Air I thought: This is the day I get my shit together. Never was I so wrong…
I tried uploading music into iTunes library and correcting the tags, and even managed to get some results. But when I tried to use external hard drive with about 500 Gb of music — iTunes just failed to cope with it. I’ve never was more disappointed in a piece of software than in iTunes. And now I use VOX for offline music.
I watched as Google Music grow since it was in beta. At first there was only 25k of your own music upload and no Spotify-like streaming of other than your own content. 25k was too small for me, so I just watched and waited.
Magic happened when they finally added streaming and all this Spotify-like functionality.
It solved almost all my problems in 2 steps:
- Upload ONLY rare and unavailable music.
- Use streaming and add to library all the rest the moment you need it!
So I became a happy customer ever since.
And last year they added another 2 awesome features:
- Google bought Songza and created time-and-place sensitive smart radio stations.
- YouTube Music Key added for free for all subscribers (no ads, offline playback, background playback on the phone)
So now I use Google Music with US account to get most of the features and love it!
- You can automatically cache for offline playback ANY playlist on your device. For example I’ve got all my liked/favorite songs cached. So when I press thumbs up button anywhere the song gets uploaded to my phone.
- To get a US account just add a plastic card with US billing account. Go into incognito mode. Use TunnelBear or Hola for US IP address. Buy a subscription like you are a US user.