Updated: Google Music For The Win (In the Cloud Storage War)

Updated: I did a followup here:  http://chaimtime.com/2012/03/18/how-to-deal-with-the-listening-to-music-problem-a-continuation/

 

With all the new cloud players out there, which one will have the advantage.  I think I have a plus for google music.

Running a mac, with an android phone, and an ever growing music library, I have yet to find the perfect solution.  The iphone was the perfect solution except for the fact that Android does more of what I need, and music isn’t super high up there.  While play counts, and playlists are, other functionality won out.

Converting from PC to Mac to a Windows Home Server, my iTunes.itl file is the holy grail for me.  It is one of the few things that I have backed up just about everywhere.  When you have reconverted your audio in ever increasing (and now FLAC) quality, you lose space. Lots of space.  With an 8gig nano in your car, you have to choose your music wisely.

So what am I complaining about ?  Simply, how can you use a cloud service to store all your music and update your play count.  I think I found it.

So you have two and a half choices for your cloud storage.  Google Music, Amazon, and iCloud (not out yet).  Since I have an android phone, and I buy from Amazon, I have two choices, (iCloud isn’t even out yet).  Amazon now stores what I buy, and everything else for a single album purchase yearly, while Google stores everything so far for free, but I have to upload everything AGAIN.  I’ve decided to stick with google music.  Mainly because it should just work with android phones.  I keep amazon player around for the music I have purchased from them, and as another backup.

The music program I’m using to sync itunes with my android phone can tell a play count, played date, and rating in google music and sync it with iTunes.  Amazon being proprietary, makes it much harder to accomplish this unless they open up their API.  This becomes a huge win for Google music.

I use a program called iSyncr (pops).  Best purchase I’ve made for my phone.  It just works by syncing your (smart) playlists with iTunes.  I’ve used doubletwist (which is great), but it doesn’t work with my large library (more than 11,000 songs), and my podcasts (mac version doesn’t have great podcast support).  What this program does is reads the itunes data file and syncs the playlists.  This isn’t a radical idea, but it does it the best I’ve seen.  It is fast and doesn’t use a tremendous amount of resources.  The company released a wifi sync, but with my library, I choose to hook it up to the computer.  Wifi sync is not without its problems.

Anyway, google music syncing with itunes is good news (albeit in a klugey way).

7 thoughts on “Updated: Google Music For The Win (In the Cloud Storage War)

  1. When you are referring to “Google Music” do you actually mean the music that is already downloaded onto your phone or have you been able to sync the music in the Google “cloud” back into iTunes? I’ve been using iSyncr for a while and haven’t been able to figure out syncing Google Music as I am hoping to one day ditch iTunes.

  2. So I may have been a little unclear. The way to get itunes to sync play counts is not that easy. The play counts only get updated when you use iSyncr to sync to iTunes. That means you can’t use the web app to do the syncing.

    If you need itunes for playlists, then there is no way to ditch it.

  3. Thanks for the great post. I use iSyncr for more than a year now and I love it (I bought both the USB and WiFi apps and I’m very happy I did). And same as you, I use Google Cloud (especially now that the new app syncs play counts and thumbs up/down) and keep Amazon around because I buy from them.
    One thing is not clear to me though: how do you keep the play counts in sync on both Google Cloud and iTunes. I may be missing something but for me, when I play a song using Google Music app, the play count does not increase on Google Cloud, unless the song came from Google Cloud; the play count increases on iTunes via iSyncr but not on Google Cloud. How do you manage to keep both play counts the same? Thanks for your help!

  4. @claudiu The shortcoming of iTunes (and google music) is that they are all proprietary . You cannot sync play counts across both devices. You have to pick one program and stick to it. In my case I pick iTunes, only because I’ve had it the longest. Another plus is that the smart playlist feature is dead simple.

    If you want to “Play count sync” I know of one option. Play everything through your android device through the google music app. It will update the google music count, and when you sync it will sync iTunes it will update then.

    I think there is a way with LastFM to do this, but I’m not sure.

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