Despite Apple's professed love of music, it's Google that owns my share of ear

I've watched every Apple keynote since the original iPhone was announced. Almost every time Apple execs take to the big stage, at some point during the presentation they profess the company's love for music.

Apple's iPhone 6 event was no exception. After announcing the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay and the Apple Watch, CEO Tim Cook got back on stage to talk music. No, he didn't announce an update to iTunes, which I'm sure almost everybody would agree — including Apple fans — is in desperate need of an overhaul. Instead, he once again professed Apple's love for music and talked about their ongoing deep collaboration with U2, at which point he brought the band up on stage to play a new single. Following that, Tim and Bono quipped back and forth in highly-rehearsed, poor-acting form, where they decided to give away U2's new album Songs of Innocence free of charge until mid-October to the over half a billion iTunes customers around the world. It was definitely a nice gesture that I'm sure many people will appreciate (though personally, following Apple's Beats acquisition, I'd rather have been given a new free album from Dre & friends.)

While watching this post-keynote entertainment go down over Apple's live stream, a realization hit me as I looked at the Sonos app that was also open on the desktop of one my other monitors. The realization? That despite Apple's professed love of music, it's actually Google that now owns market share over my music listening habits, or rather, share of ear as I like to call it. The second realization? Google magically pulled this off on me a time when I wasn't even using an Android phone!

How Songza and Google Play Music replaced iTunes for me

Let me preface this section by saying that I am a Canadian. When it comes to music and music services online, where you live in the world can and does make a big impact as to what music services you can use and enjoy. Blame the self-interest of legacy companies in the music ownership and distribution space wanting to protect their piece of the pie if you live somewhere and don't have access to a music service you'd ideally like to try. The business of music is a complicated one.

As a Canadian, I tried putting off buying music for as many years as possible (much longer than most of my friends in the US who gave into purchasing a lot sooner... most Canadians I know — cops and politicians included — prefer to download music/movies for free when possible). I was an early user of Napster. When that got shut down I was trying every other P2P service that would let me get at music for free, whether legal or not. I remember LimeWire and iMesh fondly. As those services began to deteriorate, I eventually gave up and became an iTunes patron. I put my credit card on file and began buying my music like a good citizen is apparently supposed to do. I didn't like it. While I haven't added up the bills, I'm sure over the years I've now spent at least a few thousand dollars buying my music on iTunes.

I went from getting pretty much 100% of my music from Apple to now getting pretty much 100% of my music from Google

Then, late in 2012, Songza happened. With Pandora never launching/gaining any traction in Canada, Songza took off like wildfire. Instead of reading about it on a Mobile Nations site, I actually found out about Songza from my fiancée (let's call her Erika), who was introduced to it by a friend. Within weeks, it felt like everybody I knew was listening to Songza on their iPhone. I wasn't rocking an iPhone at that point, so while I was familiar with the app, I wasn't really a Songza user.

Soon after the discovery of Songza, Erika also began hounding me that our home music system sucked. We had a Bose iPhone dock, but she hated having to put her own phone on the dock — every notification she received would come through the speakers and she was always having to take the phone off the dock to actually use her phone. Less than ideal. This prompted me to invest in Sonos that December as my Christmas present to myself.

Investing in Sonos was easily the best investment I ever made. Not only did it give us a much better sound system for our home, but it also integrated with Songza allowing me to now become a Songza user despite not having it on my phone at that point (also, when you listen to Songza through Sonos you don't get any ads!).

For a company that continually professes its love for music, Apple has actually lost me as a customer to Google, a company most people don't even associate with music

For me, Songza is a brilliant service. I love good music, but I'm a short-on-free-time workaholic who has no time to discover new good music (and to be honest, my taste in what's good is probably questionable!). Looking at my iTunes collection, it's a nostalgia collection. The music I listened to in high school and university is all mainly in there, but more recently I wasn't buying that much new music. I was mainly listening to the same songs over and over and over again. With Songza's curated playlists available around pretty much any theme or mood I was feeling, the combination of Sonos and Songza had me listening to much more new music than ever before. I probably listened to more music in 2013 than I did in the ten years prior. It was honestly life changing.

The only issue with a streaming music service like Songza is that when you want to hear a specific song, there's no way to make that happen. You need to be somewhat flexible in your music listening habits, which most of the time I am. However, sometimes you just get the urge to hear a song and Songza couldn't make that happen. I still relied on iTunes for that.

Then Google Play Music came to Canada in May of this year, with a a 30 day free trial and $7.99/month introductory price. As a Netflix subscriber paying what I consider to be the "movie streaming tax" each month, I decided to give the free trial a try, and if I ended up liking the Google Play Music service I'd just wind up just paying the equivalent "music streaming tax" each month. While I'd rather get it for free, paying under $20 a month for quality movie and music streaming services isn't that bad.

Awesome Mix Volume 1

Four months later, I'm a happily-paying subscriber of Google Play Music. The library is huge, it streams well, and it's the perfect compliment to Songza and replacement to iTunes, where it allows me to find and download specific songs I want to download and listen to. Since subscribing to Google Play Music, I haven't spend a $1 in iTunes buying music.

A couple examples of where Google Play Music has proven awesome:

  1. Upon returning home from watching Guardians of the Galaxy (on opening night!), I immediately wanted to listen to Awesome Mix, Volume 1. It was available on iTunes as an album for $8.99. Instead, I opened up the Sonos app on my computer, went to the Google Play section, and using the playlist from the iTunes album as my guideline, I quickly found and added every song to a Sonos Playlist. It took less then two minutes to find all eleven songs. That one event paid for the cost of Google Play Music for a month. Totally worth it.
  2. When visiting my family at their house, my nieces and nephews (ten and younger) love to have little dance parties, where Uncle Kevin is the on demand DJ. They call out what songs they want to listen to, while Uncle Kevin finds them online as fast as possible and plays them. These dance parties over the years have racked up my iTunes bills. Now I just login into Google Play Music through the web browser, I find every song the little munchkins want to hear in seconds, and Uncle Kevin no longer gets stuck with a big bill for a bunch of music he really doesn't need to own (there are many services I would be willing to pay Katy Perry for, but her singing isn't one of them ;) ).

Looking at how this story has played out, I went from getting pretty much 100% of my music from Apple to now getting pretty much 100% of my music from Google. For a company that continually professes its love for music, Apple has actually lost me as a customer to Google, a company who I think most people still don't even associate with music. Ironically, shortly before Apple acquired Beats I replaced my old pair of Beats with a new pair of B&O headphones. They even lost me there.

I do realize there are caveats to my story that make my situation a little different than many. For one, I'm ok with streaming nearly all of my music. I work at home, where I'm connected all day to fast internet. Streaming is fine. When I drive, I have solid data speeds everywhere I go, so I use Songza when I'm out driving longer distances, like to visit my parents who are an hour out of the city. I used to be a SiriusXM subscriber, but cancelled it now in favor of streaming from my phone (on short rides in the city I listen to the radio still to keep up on local newsy stuff). I also realize there are other streaming services out there that can accomplish what Songza and Google Play Music have done for me. That's not the point of this story. The point of this story is that without even realizing it was happening, Google stole me from Apple at the thing Apple continually professes to love the most. Kudos, Google!

I predict Google will buy Sonos

Given Google seems to have my number when it comes to music, I'm going to finish this editorial opinion piece with a prediction. I think Google will buy Sonos. Google bought Nest, Apple bought Beats, now it's Google's turn to buy somebody, and I think Sonos would be a smart fit for the company. Then along with owning my eyes via Google Glass, they'd really own my Ears, too.

CrackBerry Kevin
  • Man I miss these kind of stories from Kevin.......brought me back to the good old days at CrackBerry. Very interesting read and points of view Kevin.
  • I miss them too!! I think I'll start writing this kind of stuff more regularly. You'll just have to follow me around the network through as the stories will pop up on different sites as they fit best. Lots to say these days, too. SO MUCH going on in mobile tech. People won't always agree with my opinions, but that's kind of the point. Spark a discussion!
  • That's the best part of your (and most of the writers) on Mobile Nations. Not afraid to state opinions and not just what they think society wants to read.
  • I think this story deserves a spot on iMore. Let those Apple fans know what they are missing out on. I ditched Apple and iTunes years ago for a Pandora/GPMusic partnership and have no regrets.
  • I am an Apple fan and I don't use iTunes either. Google Play, Spotify, Rdio, etc, all have great iOS apps. I am sure many Apple users are well into them as much as Kevin or you are.
  • Kevin and his writing is one of the reasons I went back to blackberry with the Q10...sure, I wanted to try out blackberry 10, but I missed his stories and even the atmosphere of the community over there. Posted via Android Central App
  • You are bang on.........the atmosphere of the CrackBerry community is totally different. Although there are very few stories these days other than an app or game being released or updated.
  • I like meat and potatoes, but give me some sauteed garlic infused mushrooms on top of my steak - sharp cheddar and green onions in my baker... Press release style stories are nice to convey facts, but I enjoy the flavor. Thanks, mate
  • Mobile Nations should use tags so that I can click on a Kevin Tag and BOOM, nostalgic flashbacks to my CB days.
  • Ditto. Much respect to all the Mobile Nations peeps (yes, I even pop in and scan iMore too from time to time), but I REALLY miss Kevin and Crackberry from back in the day. Funniest commentery and stream-of-consciousness writing of any tech site! I even miss the wacky purchases of ridiculous apps at crazy prices and blinged-out phones...
  • In the last few days, this Android site has talk at least as much about Apple as iMore has. Can we please get over it now? I've read the sarcastic tweets and the headlines of some of the articles and they are childish. Really, it was an Apple event to promote their products. Did you want them to downplay everything and not hype up things they "invented"? Let's move on. They are all great phones and platforms, everyone wins.
  • Did you read the article? This wasn't a diss against Apple - this was a revelation about Google (that just happened to take place during an Apple event).
  • Reading is way to hard. Must go off the first paragraph then judge. /s Posted via Android Central App
  • lol....forget the first paragraph. I guarantee he just read the title and "assumed" what the article was about.
  • Yeah, you got me, that's what i did. Give me a break dude. My point was, all I've seen on this site for three days has been Apple related.
  • Because the Apple event was happening. A few days ago, it was all Android, and it usually is.
  • So go somewhere else for awhile. It ain't that bad. These guys are the best in the biz.
  • Nicka I feel you but, in this case, like the Author said, it is not an Apple dig but just an observation about digital habits. It was only last week that I told my wife that all thing iTunes are hers now (she has a 5s). It just occurred to me I no longer go to iTunes or anything Apple for music any more.
  • I'm pretty sure there were several diggs at google in the announcement that they could have easily gone without referencing and pausing for people to catch up. Besides, the article isn't a crack at Apple. Its one user's decision to use a Google product (website centric) and how they got there.
  • But you said Apple in the title. You can't expect me to read all those other words :-)! Great article Kevin. Interesting perspective from a non-Android user on how Google works for you.
  • I read it. My point was that I'm tired of seeing the word Apple on an Android site. It's as bad as Samsung having to bash Apple and their users in the TV ads. Let Apple have their once a year spotlight, no need to obsess on it.
  • Scrolling is an amazing thing that you can do on the internet. Try it sometime and you'll be able to pass right by these articles. You'll still be subjected to that pesky title (which is the only part you admittedly read anyway) but those are easy enough to ignore... maybe
  • Shame. I really thought Kevin's observation of Apple's 'bumper sticker' approach to "love for music" was fair and accurate. (even if this wasn't the main point of the article.) One minor observation, which only served as a lead in to the main subject of the article and the tears from Apple get turned on. Did you make it as far as to read that he wasn't even using an Android phone at the time? 2 eyes(ears)/1 mouth(keyboard) There is a reason for this.
  • You mad bro?
  • That's so played brother, find a new tag line.
  • hemad
  • herealmad
  • Find it hard to beat 160gb of local music. Even if it means using itunes. Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App
  • though they killed off their ipod classic series yesterday?
  • I just got 2 128GB MicroSD cards! 1 for my Note 3-4 and one for my tablet! :-D
  • Very true. Agreed. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Aside from the Sonos bit, this is my story as well. Now to check out Sonos... Great piece Kevin.
  • Awesome product, but get ready to open the wallet wide.
  • FANTASTIC product! If wallet is not thick enough, I recommend starting your SONOS collection with a used item from eBay. Their older products are great and get new software updates too. I started with a ZP100 amp hooked up to my powered multi-thousand dollar speakers - the combination is fantastic. Recently added the great little Play 1. More will come - just not sure what...
  • Nice to know I wasn't the only one who got my Awesome Mix Vol. 1 that way. Also, I do the letting our kids pick songs....only on road trips though.
  • $7.99 is less than the cost of buying one CD a month. Posted via the Android Central App
  • L 0 L aijtoones... ... ( 0ppo F5) ...
  • Typo? "... Sonos app that was also open on on the desktop of on my monitors."
  • Fixed. Thanks!
  • What I like about Google Play is that it is completely web based, so you don't have to download any software to use it. So, you can access Google Play from any computer. With iTunes, you have to download and install it on your PC. Also, Google Play Music offers free albums of the week, something iTunes doesn't and some music may be cheaper than iTunes. Finally, Google Play is compatible with many devices. iTunes limited to only iOS devices since Apple locked it down.
  • This. Even though I've ended my All Access subscription, I keep the library updated for when I go on vacation, that way I can listen to music even on others' machines.
  • I may have to try google music now...
  • you totally should. the radio feature is amazeballs. i've discovered so many awesome artists because of that one feature. and, at 10 dollars a month, you're getting your money's worth.
  • Agree 100%. I've seen comments that google's recommendations algorithms are not very good but that has not been my experience at all. Discovered many great bands I'd never heard of before in my few months since google play music came to canada!
  • You must... All Access Radio has never disappointed me yet. I also got the 30 trial amd I fell in love. The fact that i have my 50,000 songs in the cloud stored for forever plus i have.access to the lastest songs. Cant beat it. Its the ultimate music player. And good point as well its web based so its everywhere and no lag like itunes. Also kevin you have a new fan your articles are what we all need, opinion and not bias. Everything has a pro and con what matters is how the weight outcomes to your experience. Posted via the Android Central App
  • While I find the article really interesting, coming from a country where Spotify isn't available and a MAJORITY of internet users download their media for free, I would like to ask - out of genuine concern for, and an academic interest in sexism - what the author meant when talking about services he'd pay Katy Perry for. I'm not looking for an argument, nor am I calling anyone a chauvinist. I'm only asking for a clarification of meaning and context. Thanks!
  • You're joking, right? That's the only thing you saw in this article? Really?
  • The femgoggles are strong with this one Posted via Android Central App
  • you can't say anything anymore, without somebody "getting offended" or feigning offense, haha. it's bs. kevin is clearly being funny, as he always is.
  • He'd pay her to dj for his nephews, isn't that obvious? Posted via Android Central App
  • It occurred to me as I saw that line that someone might call Kevin out on that. I'm betting it was meant as an innocent jab and not like he's soliciting to have her juggle bananas while riding a unicycle or something. Posted via Android Central App
  • Some might see that as more entertaining than her singing. Posted via Android Central App
  • Regardless what it means, it's what he feels. I could be wrong but I assume you'd take issue with what he wrote if it came light he meant anything sexual. If my assumption is correct, all I have to say is that it's ok to be offended but it's also ok for anyone anywhere to express their opinion on anything. On another note.... Katy Perry uses sex appeal as a big part of her draw. Not everyone that dresses the way she does wants that attention but to her, that kind of attention, makes her super rich.
  • She has enormous boobies. They are awesome. I think he meant something like that. I certainly did. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sex. He would pay her for sex. Many of us would. She's hawt.
  • I think it's pretty apparent he's saying he finds her attractive, but doesn't find her music attractive. Posted via Android Central App
  • My experience is similar to Kevin's. My musical tastes are less main stream and more obscure so curated music is more frustrating than helpful. Like Kevin, I dropped Sirius/XM in favor of streaming Google. Most of the time I stream my music collection. Occasionally I stream an on-the-fly radio station with a 'seed' song and will then find new artists and music. The bottom line is "Adios iTunes". Google Play Music is the cats pajamas.
  • I never cared for ITunes, I still use an OLD Ipod (click wheel) (with all my old converted CDs) for my car due to the integration. Sadly others are lacking in this one department. I only use Pandora and Google Play for current music (thank god for Bluetooth).
    I had a birthday party for my daughter and I set up a "DJ" station with a touchscreen and Google Play connected to a sound system. The kids loved picking songs.
  • I used to use iTunes, but now it's all Amazon and Google. The free U2 album from iTunes got downloaded and immediately sync'd to Google Music for listening there :)
  • It's worth noting that Apple quite some time ago removed it's legacy DRM so that you could do that without a major hassle.
  • This. It pained me to have to use iTunes but the Album (which kicks ass imo) was immediately burned and saved to my SD card. Posted via Android Central App
  • This is what I do as well. Amazon to purchase, Google to listen. If I want to "try before I buy" then I Spotify the album. Also Noisetrade to find new artists once in a while.
  • Agree 100 percent with you Kevin. I'm also Canadian but my reasons for switching to Google play music were a little different. I had subscribed to rdio previously but I also already had a lot of music I had purchased. So when I wanted to listen my private collection i had to switch out of the rdio app which was a pain. Once Google play hit and I found out I could listen to both my private collection and stream new music through the same app I dropped rdio right away. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yep. You'll have to pry my $7.99 Google Play sub from my cold dead Amex card. ;) Streaming has revolutionized how I listen to music. So awesome to have new music on subscription. I'd gladly pay Netflix double if they had all released movies available. Posted via the Android Central App
  • "I'd gladly pay Netflix double if they had all released movies available." i endorse this statement.
  • If pay triple of they had all movies Posted via the Android Central App
  • I actually just ended my All Access subscription and bought some songs from iTunes. The only reason I ended the subscription is because my unit is deployed and I can't justify the cost of paying for something that I won't be using. And, I wanted to download some songs, but didn't want to pirate anymore. So, I bought the songs from iTunes, that way I can download them to all my devices and listen off line. I know that you can do the same with Google, but downloaded music from Google doesn't play nice with Windows Phone, lol.
  • I ended it because I wasn't getting enough (or keeping enough) music to justify $10 per month. I also like being able to choose which music app I use. And, I'll run into the same issue soon enough with being deployed somewhere without a data connection.
  • Thanks for your service, dude. I wish you all the bestin whatever it is that you do!
  • Thanks!!!!!
  • Be safe brother.
  • Should check Amazon's store, no dealing with iTunes and they have one of the best catalogs, plus auto download to your other devices, free music on Prime, etc. P.S. Thanks for your service.
  • Yeah, ill give them an honest look. Right now, I'm transferring music and iTunes is making me want to head-butt a friggin stop sign. Thanks!!!!!
  • Awesome write-up! Reading people's experiences (not only their short-sided opinions) is awesome.
  • Wow Kevin still writes articles...feels like it's been a looonnggg time. Still love his writing style. Posted via Android Central App
  • I Haven't bought any music from iTunes for over a year and even then it was a one off. I think things have moved on for me at least. I like the fact that I can buy my music from several different music stores and download directly onto my device and then organise it using a proper filing system. I can even change the artwork on my device, on the go. Posted from my S5
  • A Kevin article here? someone/people are not going to be happy. FYI I got a free three month trial for Google music and after using it for a while I can say it think I will keep it after my trail is up.
  • I've liked Google Music until this past week and into this one. Almost every song I pick plays for 13 seconds then stutters, then resumes for another 13 seconds. It does this a few times, then I am told that the tract cannot be played and it is moving to the next one. Except sometimes I am only playing 1 track so there is no next one to play. At first I thought it might be my internet connection, except that I am also a Sirius/Xm subscriber and when I listen online there is never any skipp, pause or disconnect, so I don't know what has happened in the last 12 days to cause this problem. Google Music is unusable in this situation. This happens whether it is PC or phone using my home network that is connected to the internet. I have uploaded all of my iTunes library to GM and purchased many songs so this entire situation is not acceptable since I cannot listen to anything like this - phone or PC. But then Sirius XM is using the same hardware and network and NO problem?
  • Suggestion: One or two weekends a month, drag your boney butt down to Times Change(d.) You'll discover plenty of new music there. And if you see Romi Mayes, tell her I sent ya!
  • Great story... And that is why there are a ton of music sevices... For everybody (almost). Posted via Android Central App
  • Google Music is decent but the Android OS audio subsystem still resamples everything to 16/48 automatically, nevermind passing through bit perfect audio to a USB DAC. My old iPad is setup running ipeng to a USB DAC to an amp does so like a champ. Supposedly L changes this but IOS has done this since ios4. USB Audio Recorder Pro is the only thing that works because it installs a custom USB device to bypass stock.
  • bluetooth ftw
  • Loving Google Music. Naturally being British we pay more for it (Dollars do equal Pounds right? ;)) but happy with the way it works across all my devices. Quality article by the way Kevin.
  • Hey Kevin Perhaps you can write an article how you use your sonos with play music.
    I currently use a chromecast at my stereo to stream music / video. Kitchen and office having a Bluetooth speaker. What can the sonos world do for me?
  • The album is not free lol...considering the price of the 2 newest iPhones you are paying somehow Posted via Android Central App
  • I kinda agree. But, if you already have an iPhone or iPad, then it is free, technically haha.
  • Very true. If I purchased through iTunes as many songs as I've added to my Google Play music library this year I probably would have spent $1,000 so far. I too am a Google convert from iTunes. You didn't mention being able to pin songs to your phone to avoid cellular data services. A great feature. I pin song lists so everything that I add to them is on my phone. Posted via Android Central App
  • My one question about this feature has been: How long is the music available, if you stay offline for an extended period of time? I only asks because I was subscribed to Xbox Music for a short while. And I downloaded a ton of music, only to find out that after a few days of not being connected to any networks, the music was unplayable due to " the license not being verifiable" or some other bs along those lines.
  • u can also pin to a mc
  • This morning I ordered a Note 4. My first Android ever. I go gsm way back as in consultant in the IT dep of Ericsson at and after they merged with Sony. I know my way around the inner bits of a cellular phone, more than I need to about "smart" ones. iPhone was a blessing, something that actually worked, kept 3G ALL along the highway back up in Sweden.
    A while back I saw a friend pull out a pen that wrote precise and distinct on a bigger phone. I kid you not, I did not know of Samsungs Notes, the Appleaddict I am/was. It blew me away.
    This morning I ordered a Note 4. My first Android ever.
  • Made it a Gold one, 128GB SD Card, to fit my entire music collection in style
  • This was a great article! Love stuff like this! Posted via Android Central App
  • This is exactly how thing went for me. I went from buying CD's before the iPod/Itunes, to using an iPod filled with iTunes music via headphones or a speaker dock. When I decided to go with an Android phone rather than an iPhone, I ended up using a combination of Pandora and my iTunes music stored on my phone (once they removed the DRM). I switched to Songza when that became popular. I started using Google Play, before it was a streaming service, to keep all my iTunes music in the cloud. As soon as Google Play All Access was announced, I signed up, and now it is the only service I use for music (besides the record store, nothing like a good old LP, but that's a story for another day).
  • Nice to hear from you on the Android side Kevin. I always appreciated your editorials back when I was part of the Crackberry clan.
  • Thanks!!
  • I think the era of physically storing music is almost over for the masses. I use spotify. Similar to your service. I can search for and listen to any song I want. I can even download albums, create playlists, and much more.
  • I would like to read more from Crackberry Kevin at
  • I "share" a Google Play paid account with my wife. That means she uses the account all day at work and we share it at home. At work, for me, I just use a free Spotify account (which also just came to Canada!). I think as far as free accounts go Spotify wins, but I love the full access Google Play account. I also use a free Google Play account to upload all the music I already own so I can listen to it offline when my spotty Wind connection doesn't work.
  • "there are many services I would be willing to pay Katy Perry for, but her singing isn't one of them ;)" 0.o
  • I'd pay her too, but I don't think I could afford it. But only for her singing. Posted via Android Central App
  • What is the 2nd screenshot with the blue interface?
  • That's the Sonos app running on my Mac.
  • Thanks Kevin. That app has a nice UI.
  • Love the article! You should write more of these.
  • I use Google All Access a lot, especially for kid's music and for listening to new artists/releases. I still do buy from iTunes occassionally, as I want to "own" certain music (like Slash's upcoming new album next week!). Why? Because I don't have complete confidence that the record labels will always have their music available for streaming. For example, once upon a time all of Def Leppard's older albums used to available in iTunes but now are nowhere to be found (and haven't been available for several years). If I remember correctly, earlier this year, all of Iron Maiden's albums disappeared off iTunes, Google Play, Spotify etc for several weeks before making a reappearance. Some other lesser-known artist/albums that I had in my Playlist for All Access are no longer there anymore.
    In addition, I still use an iPod Classic in my truck, due to the built-in iPod interface. Plus it uses the digital out connection of the iPod and the clarity is so much better than streaming via bluetooth. I'm no audiophile, by any means, but it does make a difference.
    However, my spending on music has been cut by over 90%, as I only focus on the "must-have" artists.
  • u can purchase albums from google play not just stream
  • Oh, let me elaborate more on that point. When I do buy music, it's not necessarily through iTunes. I look at Google and at Amazon and more often than not, buy through one of those stores rather than iTunes. It depends on who has the best price. That's a key point I left out. Also, I have uploaded all of my 6,000 songs to Google Play.
    The only thing I don't care for about Google Play is the inability to do edit metadata (artwork, etc.) and the inability to create smart playlist. That's one thing I love when using my iPod in the car, as I have a playlist set up that automatically excludes all my kid's songs, my wife's music and it also only has songs in it that I haven't listened to in over 6 months. That way I know I'm not listening to the same songs over again and recycling my music.
  • u can edit artwork from a computer and kno u cant create smart playlists from ur own uploaded music and im assumig u and ur wife share a itunes account but u can create ur own playlist my new single is now available on streaming music services
    YBC Tha NeRd - Work prod by Elektro Riot
  • Google should buy sonos but would sonos be willing to sell. They're doing very well. Posted via Android Central App
  • Few questions about Google Play Music. It's completely browser/app based and not stored on device, correct? Where do you guys store your music then, or is it all streamed? Also, is there a podcast section to listen/download podcasts? Switching to Android pretty soon and music and podcasts are a couple of the things I was worried about.
  • I switched over to Google music last year, the best part was deleting iTunes forever!!! I have a library of a out 12, 000 songs I moved over to Google. You can upload to Google up to 20,000 songs for streaming and back up. If you want to store music on you're phone just click pin. The radio on google just gets better over time, extremely happy with my move.
  • So you have all your music backed up through Google's servers and nowhere else? I don't think I like the idea of not having it on a hard drive of some sort somewhere. I run into problems streaming because I tend to use tons of data. I have "unlimited" AT&T data, but after 5GB/month they switch me down to edge. Same reason I don't really use iTunes Match. I'm just trying to figure out Android's options.
  • I have my collection on a pc, which I use to manage and store my music. I also have it backed up on a separate drive so I actually have 3 copies including Google.
  • Gotcha. I have mine on an external HD, and on my laptop. I'd love to be able to keep it all backed up to a cloud service and stream it, but I use way too much data already.
  • u can cache ur most listend to track on a mc over wifi saves ton of data
  • In my country, iTunes didn't stop folks from downloading free music through P2P, but Spotify did. iTunes is just a part of an aspirational ecosystem most folks here can't buy anyway. I wish GPMAA becomes available here though. Posted via Android Central App
  • Great article! I'm sending this RIGHT NOW to my sister, whose daughter is still spending money on iTunes, and paying a premium for on-board memory so she can carry her music everywhere she goes. She needs to start streaming, caching, and saving.
  • I will say that the few times I've had to call Apple (for work), their hold music has been fantastic.
  • All of mobile nations is a little bit Apple-obsessed this week. Not surprising though. Happens every WWDC and every week in the fall that an iPhone announcement happens. Just a by-product of the mind share Apple enjoys. For example, iPhone 6 was a story on all the primetime network newscasts last night. You just don't see that kind of think for Samsung or blackberry. Nice article though. Even though I use a Nexus 7 to get my Android fix, I never touch google play music. I don't want them marketing my tatses. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Great story. I am a big Apple supporter for IPad Air but, for streaming music at home or in the car I stream only Google Music and had my iTunes library uploaded to google music. I now only use iTunes to upload music to my Google music file on the PC and then to my phone for streaming in the car. Ian B
  • Did the same thing after watching Guardians of the Galaxy (well... via Amazon rather than iTunes). Great sound track! :)
  • Great read. I living in the states have so many great choices so I use a whole bunch of music services and google play is one of them for my cloud music storage. My situation having a family of 5 it would not be economical to pay for google streaming times 5 so I'm lucky enough through AT&T Beats music for 14.99/ month it covers up to 5 people for a family plan unlimited usage including offline and high quality streams it works a lot like songza for me it's the best deal in town for a family of 5. It has web page access plus Beats App for IOS, Android and Windows Phone which my family is a mixture of all three. I think Apple made a smart purchase plus they have I Tunes for their old legacy desktop client. In the States the battle for our ears is far from over it will be interesting to see where it go. Plus Xbox music is every where now Apps on all platforms that's the way to do it in my opinion.
  • u can still use google play on multiple devices jus have a main accouunt sign up then sign into tha app with th same account then "bam" multiple devices for like 9 bucks
  • Relating to the article, Android's and Windows sense of "freedom" is how Apple lost me as a customer. I also love that I'm not tied to a single ecosystem, and can change at will. Also love the control you have. I have downloaded Tasker an my god, it's a wonderful little app.
  • The comment about Perry could have been avoided! Sounds disgusting... Posted via Android Central App
  • Nice article!
  • I love Google Music as well. My favorite thing is the fact that you can upload 20,000 songs for free! Pay nothing, like me, and you can do this!!! I've found it to be a great way to backup my music and make it accessible from anywhere, either on my phone or from a web browser. Very nice! The Windows client supports/reads/imports mp3, wma, and even ogg vorbis as well as more formats I'm sure like aac and wav. You just need to install a client on your PC and point it to a directory and it imports all music from that directory and below, everything that's there and more as you add it automatically. I was surprised they supported ogg but was very happy to see the CDs I ripped in ogg got pulled in as well!
  • I've been a Google Music subscriber here in the US since day 1. It is the best $7.99 a month I spend, and most of my tech is Apple. Google will literally get $7.99 for the rest of eternity.
  •  My iTunes collection is, too, filled with music I purchased as a teen, but I've bought a few new albums recently. I mainly use Amazon, though, and I just can't let go of XM after all of these years. Posted via AC App on HTC One
  • welcome to android world. you have choices here and you don't have to be shackled by itunes. Surprising people are still dumb enough to stay with it.
  • Some Google acquisitions are kind of predictable. I predicted Waze, Bitspin, and for some reason, Motorola's, just because all of them made sense to me. Also, I used to think they would buy Spotify and Netflix, now its pretty unlikely since they found that they have the biggest streaming brand on their repertory... YouTube. Another acquisition I thought was going to happen... Uber. That one I think is still possible, especially with all the self-driving cars thing being so important for Google's long term shot. Sonos make a lot of sense too, since they are partners, but there could be better options, maybe a company that also knows how to build headphones and not just speakers, more now that they are going to support wireless headphones on Android Wear.
  • check out my new song
    YBC Tha NeRd - Work now available on #GooglePlay #Amazon #Spotify #iTunes #BeatsMusic and all other streaming services #EDM #Dubstep
  • I have used Google play music since it came out. For 7.99 a month it can't be beat. I like to let it stream music while I am home on Wi-Fi, then when I get on the road, i switch to download only and listen to the mix of songs that have built up in my cache. Help me save on data. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I use ITunes on my laptop, and I use Zune. Yes it is still on my laptop, and for while I used it more than ITunes. Used Spotify, then Pandora, Play on my Android phone. I hated it and went through every music player I could find on Play never really found one I liked, my current HTC I like the standard player, still better. It is always seems to be a fight to get loaded, with art work, and named right. I switched to Windows Phone Nokia 920 for little while and used Xbox music but it wasn't as good as Zune(lost functions). But really liked MUSIC+, Nokia mixmusic. In all I am still looking for something I like, but I am cheap. I not playing for music, if I don't get to keep it. Someday I'll release my own app with everything I want, and have ROCK MUSIC, not pop, rap, teeny, techno, or foreign music (Windows phone) I have never heard of out the UK OR EUROPE. Someday (ya it's wishful thinking). Posted via the Android Central App
  • If you have a newer Samsung device (phone or tablet) Milk Music is a free app from Samsung. Its powered by Slacker.
    There are no commercials, though once in a while the music stops because of a popup asking if you are still listening, with a reminder that Samsung is paying for each song. But thats my goto app for when I'm not streaming a radio station or playing mp3's and FLAC's from my sdcard.
    I think its free only in certain countries.
  • my new single is now available on streaming music services
    YBC Tha NeRd - Work prod by Elektro Riot
  • After your article i jumped on Google music just to get disappointed badly. I use Spotify and comparing these two services there is a huge huge difference. On Google i found almost always 1 song from each album for some strange reason while on Spotify i found more albums from each singer and everything was there for each album. For Google to be a serious contender they need so so much more content and usability in their app.
    Will be cancelling the premium already after a few days, thats how bad it is.
  • Although I agree on the general take that music is just as available on Android as it is on iOS, I still prefer iOS. I had an iPhone 5 for nearly 2 years (about 1.75) before switching to Verizon Edge and picking up a Galaxy S5. Everything has been smooth except the music aspect. Getting songs onto my S5 requires me taking it out of the case, taking the back off, and popping out the memory card. I can't simply drag-and-drop as Google has taken away file explorer capabilities. It's kind of a pain that I just can't plug my S5 into my computer and copy content over to its 128GB microSDXC card. Second, playing music has been a ho-hum experience (at most). I've gone through four different music apps and I'm still not 100% satisfied. I first tried doubletwist to help ease my transition from iTunes to foobar2000 (and iOS to Android) but it was consuming way too many resources, draining my S5's battery far too quickly, and syncing music over (even just a handful of new albums) was taking about 4-5 hours with wireless syncing barely finishing up overnight. I then tried poweramp but the program can't smoothly playback a lot of my content (256kbps VBR mpeg-4 LC-AAC files). It will insert random pauses and skips despite me increasing the audio buffer and priority of audio playback (while disabling audio processing, ReplayGain, and everything else that could take away). I used another app, don't remember the name, and it was pretty worthless. I'm using Google Music right now but it too skips with some AAC content. My biggest gripe came after I signed into my Google account with the app and now everything is integrated when I only care about local playback. It ate through 500MB of data a couple of days ago because it was streaming every song from my Google account instead of playing back the locally stored files only. I disabled cellular streaming and have it showing only downloaded content but things are still a mess whenever I get home and connect to my wi-fi network. I wish I could just sign out of the Google Music app all together. Things were a lot different on my iPhone 5. It never had any skipping issues when playing music. It had wireless Bluetooth range problems (my S5 is world's better) but never any issues playing back music files.
  • I love Google Music. I'm listening now. Buddy ripped my entire 700+ CD collection to his home server then pointed Google Music towards it and clicked "upload". So now when the whim strikes me I can "Ok Google, play..." and hear whatever I want. I don't subscribe to All Access. I ran parallel trials of both All Access and Spotify. Spotify won out. At the time, I was using an LG Optimus G running 4.1.2 and playback on Google kept crashing. Furthermore, I love making playlists and adding songs to existing lists on the fly (doing that right now too). Spotify has the decency to notify me when I’m adding a song to a list that already has it. Google doesn’t. What you end up with is a greater need to manage your playlists. I don’t like that. So for now I am using both. Spotify works for wanting to hear something new or obscure I don’t already own while Google Music works for everything else. I had been an iTunes iPod person since the 2nd generation Nano. But man I HATED having to 1) manage all my music on the computer and then having to sync every time and 2) being limited to the measly 8GB of storage on my Nano. I first entered into cloud access to music on my HTC Inspire using Amazon’s Cloud Music Player. Then Google came along to match it and I never looked back. The ONE thing Google Music (and the Play Store) NEED in a BIG way is a Roku app/channel. Then the circle will be complete.
  • I see less geographical restrictions with iTunes than with Google Play Music. At least when something goes free on iTunes it goes free for the whole world and not just the USA as with Google.