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Thanks for covering this, Eliot. When you say "all four of the services mentioned at the top of this article are capable of grabbing the music you’ve collected on your hard drive and zapping it up to the cloud", do Rdio and Rhapsody really do this? Last I checked they offered zero support for local files.

The big differentiator between Google All Access and Spotify in terms of local files is that Spotify requires you to sync local files to playlists, making it a chore to browse for them on mobile, and to store them on your device - a problem if you have a lot of files not in the streaming catalogs, as they can fill up your device quickly.

Google promises to fix these problems by integrating streaming with cloud storage, which isn't limited by the size of your device's memory. This makes it much easier to have a virtually limitless catalog at hand at all times in one interface. I haven't tried it yet, as I have an iPhone, but I'm curious how Google handles the actual integration of personal and catalog files in browsing and playing. Ideally, it would have a "match" software that only uploaded your local files that weren't part of the catalog, and periodically re-ran the match automatically to account for added/removed catalog files.


One thing Spotify is missing that All Acess does well is allowing you to customize your radio queue (songs you don't like can be swiped from the stream in the Android app, and you can re-order upcoming songs as your please).

Comparing it to Spotify, the ability to actually be able to go back to a song you previously heard and give it a thumbs up (or down) makes all the difference. In all due fairness, Slacker allows you to do so as well.

On the cons, one of the things they need to improve is the process of adding the songs to your library from the radio. Currently you have to bring up the queue and click on the song's menu to add it to your library. Not unusable, but not friendly by any means.

Another area were Spotify has an advantage is with the Genre radios. All access will give you access to playlists in each genre (which are good) but not to a radio based on genre (something Spotify and Slacker both offer).


Another pro for Google is that it is much better for finding new music than RDIO. Google lets you browse by category (Blues, Folk, etc), and RDIO doesn't. If you are trying to discover new music, Google has RDIO beat.

A con for Google is that it does not handle mobile connections well. Running the music player on your cell phone can use hundreds of Megabytes of data an hour. I ran it for about 20 or 30 minutes and found it used over 150 Megabytes of data. I feel sorry for anyone who listens to music for an afternoon on their cell phone. The Google player apparently caches entire albums whenever you play a song from one, which is why the data rate is so high.


Just a quick note Eliot; you can actually scrobble with All Access just as you could with the previous version of Google Play Music.
Daniel Slaughter wrote a browser extension for it a long time ago called "Google Play/Music with Last.fm"
Link: http://www.danielslaughter.com/projects/google-music-with-lastfm/

It is browser based, but so is All Access.
As for the mobile app, Last.fm can scrobble from that as well. So I just thought you should edit that since it's a pretty big deal for some people like myself.

Great article!


Thanks for the review. I started using this Google music this week and liking it a lot. Another plus with Google Music for me is the ability to play music on my Sony Bluray Home Theater System via DLNA using Android mobile app Bubble UPnP pro ($4.95) which also scrobbles to LastFm. So it's a real competitor if you ask me.


All access isn't even all access, I've had it for a few days and I'm pretty passed about how little good metal is available. But if you search the faceless on Google play 100% of their music is available for purchase. On all access you can only get 2 songs of each album, so how is that All Access?

Van Davis

I can also verify that All Access does scrobble to LastFM (from my mobile app, anyway.)

I haven't tried to scrobble from Chrome, yet; but I do have the plug-in mentioned by Wooobafett, above, and it's always worked fine, before.

Van Davis

They're still limited, as most (all?) streaming services are, by contractual obligations with the artists and music companies.

They are limited by individual contracts, as to what albums/songs they are allowed to stream.

If the company that distributed The Faceless doesn't give them the rights to stream every song that they have the rights to sell, it isn't Google's fault.

Phillip Lee

Carrier billing from AT&T is supported on my Samsung SIII phone through subscription


Though Rhapsody and Rdio do not actually upload any of your music (and neither does Spotify, for that matter), they do offer the option to match your current music against their library. Anything that they have will automatically be added to your Collection/Library (obviously not the case with Spotify, since Spotify does not offer a Collection or Library feature).

As far as playback goes, Google handles the uploaded files and the All Access files exactly the same. They all fall under one section ("My Library") and there's no real distinction between the two. The only difference is that uploaded files offer the option to Delete while All Access files offer the option to Remove.

Uploading is a different story. Because Google treats your uploaded files differently for licensing purposes (they pay less per play to the record company if you've bought the song elsewhere, and they allow you to redownload any of your uploaded music) all of your music will be uploaded (or matched to their 320kbps files, but still treated as an "uploaded" file against your 20k song limit). Since the library is so well integrated I don't think it's a major issue.


The problem i have with goggle play is.. I have purchased an album that is stored on my note 2 Great! however i would like to add the purchased album to my desk top with a view to adding the album to my music files on my PC. However it would apear this isnt possible. locking me into goggle which i really do not like the thought of.


I have the 1 month free trial for google play music all access and I've listened to many songs. I realized soon after that there was an option to keep tbe requested music to stay on my device. So I'm just wondering, will that music stay on my google music app even after the I cancel the subscription or will the music just dissapear? Need to know quick. Thanks :)


This is very possible. If you go to the album page (where it lists all the songs on the album) and hover over the artwork, there is the "three dots" menu. One of the options is Download Album.

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