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Google Music vs Amazon Cloud Player – A quick review.

Cloud Music

I’ve been testing out both Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player and have to say that they are both nice services.

Below are my pros and cons of each service after some initial testing.

Price:

Google Music – Free (for now)
Amazon Cloud Player – First 5 gigs are free, after that it’ll cost. Tip

Uploading:

Google Music:

  • Pro: Creates a native Mac system preference.
  • Pro: I can set the bandwidth used to upload my music.
  • Pro: Automatically uploads all my music. And when new music is added to my system, automatically uploads that as well.
  • Con: It uploads all music in iTunes. The only other option is to manually add individual folders and that’s not very convenient. So my Google Music account includes Jingle Bells and The Wheels On The Bus. Not exactly what I want to hear all the time.

Amazon Cloud Player:

  • Pro: Select which playlists or songs you want to upload. It organizes everything by iTunes playlist so you can choose only certain playlists if you want and exclude the Christmas music.
  • Con: You have to login to Amazon Cloud Player on the web and click the upload button before you can use the upload app.
  • Con: No bandwidth controls.

Playlists:

Google Music:

  • Pro: Uploads all of iTunes regular playlists to the web.
  • Con: Doesn’t upload smart playlists.
  • Pro: Can create instant mixes.

Amazon Cloud Player:

  • Pro: Uploads all of iTunes regular playlists to the web.
  • Pro: Uploads all smart playlists too.
  • Con: Smart playlists don’t auto update, they are basically regular playlists now.
  • Pro: Can re-upload playlists to get them in sync.

Both can create new playlists on the fly, however there is no way of creating smart playlists.

Player:

Google Music:

  • Pro: Android App – Android player is very user-friendly, clean and works well.
  • Con: No iPhone App
  • Pro: Website works on iOS so you can play your music on iPhone or iPad. However it is a bit slow but they do say it plays in the background.
  • Pro: You can play your music on the web. The website is nice and clean and easy to use.

Amazon Cloud Player:

  • Pro: Android App – Android player is decent, however it’s bundled with the Amazon store and it feels bulky.
  • Con: No iPhone App
  • Con: The website kind of works on iPhone and iPad. However it’s still pretty buggy.
  • Pro: You can play your music on the web. The website is ok, not as nice as Googles, but it gets the job done.

Other Features:

Google Music:

  • If you use Chrome, get the Play/Pause and Skip extensions for your browser.
  • You can rate songs via thumbs up or down.
  • You get free music just for signing up.
  • Will work with Factotum on the Mac soon, which allows you to play/pause/skip via the keyboard.

Amazon Cloud Player:

  • Having the Amazon Store available is pretty nice sometimes. You can quickly purchase a song and have it in your cloud player in seconds.
  • You can download your music to your phone or back to your computer.
  • Works with Factotum on the Mac which allows you to play/pause/skip via the keyboard.
  • It’s open to everyone right now.

If I had to pick one, I’d probably choose Google Music as I like the web and Android user interfaces better. Plus the ability to control my music from my browser and auto uploads of new songs in iTunes just make it easy.

Granted both services could be over shadowed if iCloud comes out next week and creates an even better cloud music solution. However we’ll just have to wait and see how that pans out.

Even better than both services is my iPod. Cloud based music services like these are nice, but nothing beats the speed, portability and features of having an iPod with you.

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3 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    I just hope Google Music stays free.

  2. John says:

    Amazon Cloud Player now has both an iPod and an iPad app. I would add, however, that for people with large music collections (50,000 songs plus), the Amazon Uploader is HORRIBLE. It took almost three weeks to get my collection uploaded, with lots of crashes and handholding. I ended up having to upload one or two letters at a time and hope for the best.

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