I have been fairly critical of Google’s Music service, largely for two reasons: first off it was ‘worst in class’ and made every other music service look great in comparison; and second because as a Google service there were legions of blind Google fanboys spewing effusive praise because it was free. That was 9 months ago when it was in Beta. Then it got out of beta and … it was still the worst music service available, just slightly less crappy than before.
Now Google has made a major update to the service … they added a button.
This button allows you to download your purchases and any free music added to your account. How much control do you have? Binary – you can check a box that only downloads things newer than your last download, or uncheck it to download everything.
For example, during the recent sale on Google Music I bought the new albums by Christian McBride and Nicholas Peyton. I had also grabbed some free stuff that Google was handing out (the like Pearl Jam and Coldplay) and let the service load up my account with free music when I signed up. After purchasing the McBride and Peyton recordings I had two options – listen on Android or download one song at a time.
So now I had a new option – press the button and get my stuff downloaded so I can add it to iTunes and Zune and have access from my iOS devices and Windows Phone as well as Android. Y’know, almost like a REAL music service.
But of course there is STILL no granularity, so rather than the 28 songs I wanted I had to wait through 192 songs to download before I could touch my stuff. And not surprisingly, it took about 5 times longer to do this than it did when I downloaded the 128 songs in my Emily Remler library to my iPad using iTunes in the Cloud.
One thing I continue to notice is that on a computer that can run the latest and greatest games, has 10MB internet, Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and so on … Google Music Uploader is still one of the worst behaving resource hogs I have ever touched. Yes I can throttle uploads, but the overall impact is still dramatic in terms of system performance.
The other thing that continues to demonstrate that Google is absolutely clueless about this whole music thing is that uploading has no ‘off’ or ‘cancel’ button. It is true – you can head to Google Music help and check it out … there is only ONE way to stop uploads you don’t want – quit the Music Manager, uninstall it, reinstall it and try again with what you do want.
You can see it in the image, I had selected some folders in my iTunes library to upload but after realizing how awful the Music Manager was I wanted to stop – but was never able. Fortunately I didn’t choose my whole iTunes Library.
Really – if you make ONE selection mistake your only recourse is to uninstall and reinstall and try again. That is laughably and indefensibly pathetic – if Google isn’t ashamed they should be.
So there you have it … Google adds a single ‘download all’ with a single ‘don’t download what I already downloaded’ option, but otherwise remains just an abysmally bad service. I know that they have a reputation for releasing unfinished stuff and improving it … but this is no longer a beta service, and they have really not done much to help the terrible service that got trashed deservedly in reviews last year.
Another reason they should just stick to what they know such as Search and leave music to folks who know more about it … which would be just about anyone based on what they have managed to date.