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).