By Lisa Carlin
Google Music is finally open to users in America, is on full throttle (from a pallid Beta launched last May). Google Music is now open in the U.S. and available online and on the Android Store. Over the next few days, Google will roll out the music store to Android Market on devices running Android 2.2 and above.
Is Google Music hitting the right notes? Lets find out.
Google Music does not require us to download a player (like, say Spotify or Rhapsody). Google uses a HTML5 mobile Web player, which the company happily adds can be accessed from iPads, iPhones and even iPods.
You can go to the Google Music site, sign in with our Gmail account, and start music hopping. To be able to listen to music, even the free music that is currently available, you will need to give your name, address and credit card information to Google Checkout. Don’t raise your eye brows, this is a fairly common practise, plus, Google probably knows more about you than you do.
Google Music comes in the Android store as well, and all your purchases are automatically stored on Google Music. You can listen online on Google Music or offline to the version you may have downloaded. Any new music you add to a pinned playlist will automatically be downloaded for offline playback.
The music gets automatically synced across devices. Sharing is free on Google+ (talk about promoting two services with one song). If you want to share on Google+, Google Music is offering a full play of purchased tracks for the benefit of your friends.
Andy Rubin (Senior vice president, Mobile, Google): Google Music is about discovering, purchasing, sharing and enjoying digital music in new, innovative and personalized ways.
With the artist hub, any artist (who has all the necessary rights) can distribute her own music on the Google Music platform. Artistes and bands can use the artist hub interface to build their own page, upload original tracks, set prices and sell content directly to fans.
There is a Song of the Day, Google Artist of the Week, and a archive of free songs. The Google Music store has more than 13 million tracks from artists on Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, and the global independent rights agency Merlin as well as over a thousand independent labels. Google has also partnered with global distributors of independent music including tie ups with IODA, INgrooves, The Orchard and Believe Digital, among others.
Google is celebrating the launch with a collection of exclusive music and free tracks. To begin with, The Rolling Stones are offering an exclusive, never-before-released live concert album, Brussels Affair (Live, 1973), including a free single, Dancing with Mr. D. This is the first of six in an unreleased concert series that will be made available exclusively through Google Music over the coming months.
Coldplay fans will find a free, live recording of Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, a five-track live EP from their recent concert in Madrid. You will also find exclusive content from other bands and artistes like Busta Rhymes, Shakira, Tiesto, Dave Matthews Band, and Pearl Jam.