Just this year, Google and Apple came out with their newest innovations: Google Music and iTunes Match, respectively. The two serve the same purpose, but each one is unique.
Google Music, once known as “Music Beta for Google,” has grown into a vast and dynamic database of music. Songs and album compilations are available for free and for minimal cost. Users register for an account through an easy-to-use interface and then install a Music Manager on their computer hard-drive for the sake of uploading and organizing music from Google Music’s cloud storage locker. Where the iTune is more indirect and difficult in its application and approach, though, this process is easier but can take a while. The Music Manager requires about a minute or two, but the music files take longer, depending on the load size and the cloud computing activity rate at the time. Once this process is complete, users are good to go.
Much like the iTunes’ Match feature, which updates a user’s collection through file-matching, Google’s Instant Mix enables the Music Manger to create unique playlists. Both of these services allow users to develop an individualized library with the help of software configured to personal preferences and existing files. The only difference is that Google requires an additional desktop application to do it, where iTunes doesn’t.
The Android Market, however, is Google’s gleaming gem. This particular service allows users to download music to about ten of their authorized mobile devices. Users can listen to their songs anytime and anyplace. And iTunes does this as well, but not only music; movies, TV shows, podcasts and other applications go right to the iPhone, iPad or iPod for easy access.
One should not forget the artist hubs. This service is also exclusive to Google Music. These hubs allow users to upload, share and sell their own music or other works, so the account-holders get in on the action, and with full control over their pricing. Users can promote themselves and make money while also developing their music collections.
Google prices generally run .69c – $1.29 per track. Since artists take advantage of the price control, very few songs go at 69c. Again, iTunes is the same in cost, but where Google’s store features personalized recommendations by staff, iTunes provides information tags on their files.
The iTunes Match is the latest incarnation of the long-existing iTunes by Apple, so this has had time to develop. Unlike Google Music, iTunes Match requests an annual fee of $24.99. Still, this is accessible on OS-X Mac as well as P.C. Windows 7, XP and Vista. That means that almost anyone can use it.
And the library is a vast one, containing billions of files. As a matter of fact, iTunes reported ten billion downloads between 2003 and 2010, making it the biggest online music database in existence. Users have no problem finding their favorite songs or artists.
As a matter of fact, where Google Music deals strictly with music, the iTunes store offers more: TV shows, movies sound processing, video support, podcasts, ebooks, PDF format and even access to various applications, and, as said, any of these can download to the iPhone, iPad, iPod and iPod-Touch. When one considers this, the annual fee makes sense.
Both Google Music and iTunes Match provide the same basic service, but each one is different: Where the former requires no registration, it takes longer to upload and allows users minimal control over choice selection, and, again, artists have the opportunity to promote themselves and sell their own work. On the other hand, the latter requires an annual fee and has a somewhat circuitous sign-up, but it offers more of a variety.
The choice is not easy. The right selection depends on the user’s particular needs and preferences. Whichever way users go, they are in for a treat.