First Look at Google Music Beta

We're in the middle of uploading a couple songs to Google Music Beta, the new streaming music service Google announced today at the Google IO developer conference.

The process as it stands today is pretty straightforward. You download a helper app which finds and then uploads your music to your Google account of your choosing. Initial setup is pretty quick -- uploading music is, well, dependent on your connection, of course. Music syncs in the background, so you can go about your business while you wait for song after song after song after song to upload.

The Google Music Beta desktop app isn't actually a desktop app -- it runs in the browser.

More as we get it. For now, check out more screen shots after the break.

  • I really hope I get an invite :(
  • Thank you for not posting a video! youtube is blocked at work. i was skeptical of Amazon's cloud drive---with recent crashes & inaccessible accounts--so i'm a little timid of this. but it is slowly winning me over...especially if this means i can free myself of 21GB on my Thunderbolt SD card
  • Is the Music Manager windows only or is it Mac friendly too?
  • It'll be Mac friendly, you can clearly see it on the demo video.
  • hahaha totally missed that, thanks!
  • Whats the limit right now
  • I would like to know as well. I currently have about 16G of music.
  • @BGR is reporting 20,000 songs.
  • Google posted it as about 85GB. Yeah, not a typo. I love big G. This moment was specifically the reason why I didn't care that the Nexus S doesn't have an expandable microSD card slot.
  • 85 gig would be awesome.
  • Tried to set it as default music player and it FC's everytime I can open the app just fine in the app drawer but then there's also the fact I now have 2 music apps, one standard and one the new beta
  • They already lost me to Amazon by about two weeks. I just spent 3 days uploading my music to their cloud player. Google would have to have a really killer option for me to want to switch. I can buy music from Amazon and it is stored in my cloud ASAP, that is a pretty huge obstacle for Google. Why would I want to buy the song from somewhere else just to upload it again? Especially when Amazon does it right now automatically. Cool idea, just a couple months too late.
  • I have to agree with you on this, especially after already uploading my collection to Amazon. Why would I want to go through all of that again? Unless Google has some clear and clean cut advantages over Amazon, there's no need for it.
  • The advantage is you get another clean player that is supported by Google themselves. I'm in the same boat as you, I uploaded my 16GB to the Amazon cloud, but honestly, I'll switch. Here's my deciding factor. If you haven't, download both apps (Amazon mp3 and Google Music). Make sure you have some amount of music on your phone, and in the cloud. Go though and play different songs and playlists, explore your music through artists, albums, and songs in both portrait and landscape in both apps. Obviously ignore load times. IMO the interface of Google music is soooooo much better, and considering that it'll most likely stream faster (once again, Google support will make it better) I see it as better. Yes, you can't buy music from them and put it directly to the cloud, and I don't know you personally, but come on, do you buy music THAT OFTEN. You should be paying attention to what you interact with the most, and that's the UI. Also, 85GB of storage. Heavenly.
  • I uploaded the my first five gigs of music to Amazon, but decided to wait until Google I/O before going all in, suspecting that an announcement like this would happen. Still haven't gotten the invite though.
  • Can we stream to more than one phone? I want to be able to stream a single large pool of music to both my phone and my wifes.
  • I'm pretty sure you have to be connected to the same Google account for that to work
  • Or just upload the music to both google accounts....
  • ...only available in US because they are starting small? Amazon cloud player also not available in UK. Local copyright laws might be a factor. These laws are currently under review, and hopefully will be amended to make provision for fair-use, and legalize format-shifting. Until that happens, I'm not expecting these cloud based services to be launched here
  • i like how dropbox doesn't make you upload popular files--if they recognize your file, it "uploads" instantly. this helps them save space on their end.
  • I need this to stream to my media PC while also allowing me to control it via my phone. Now that would be nice!
  • What's the GB allocation for each account? I haven't seen that on websites yet. I'm trying to compare it to what Amazon currently offers.
  • 85GB. Yeah.
  • How are the playlist controls? Any Smart Playlist?
  • How'd you get an Invite? I request one the minute the site was up wth?
  • IO attendees and some xoom owners got them already.
  • I havent even recieved the update to 3.1 yet on my VZW Xoom. Or an invite either.
  • GB limit please?????
  • Several comments here list 85gb
  • 85GB isn't much. I have about 220 gigs of music and have a 120 GB Zune...I don't see a reason to even try out cloud music storage.
  • But it's about 40GB more than an Android device could currently hold, given that 32GB cards are the current max. If you prefer to use your Zune or an iPod, so be it. This is meant for Android devices though.
  • How so when it is a web based service and works on macs? Its not exclusive for android devices.
  • Oops, double post!
  • 85GB isn't much? It's 80GB more than Amazon gives you free, and 65GB more than they give you if you buy an album. I'm thinking that most people out there don't have more than 85GB worth of music, and if they do, they have a Zune or two to put it on. Considering the fact that I only have a 16GB card in my Evo, Amazon's Cloud player was awesome for me, and Google Music is just going to be that much better.
  • i guess im not invited to the party :(
  • is it safe to assume that my little droid Eris can't handle this? I cant find the music player in the market.
  • I just signed up for an invite at and after thanking me for my interest, it said: "Music Beta is available free for a limited time." Won't always be free?
  • I hope that Google Music recognizes all my music. Amazon fails to read the tags on about 1/2 of my music. Can't use it if all my music is listed under unknown.
  • Im sitting on the fence right now.... apparently it is a web app =/ though i dont really have a problem with web apps i would have more preferred if it was a media player for the pc like wmp / itunes. then again it is still a beta so they can eventually change that. i requested an invite anyways so we'll what happens. (i hope it doesnt end up like google wave.)
  • Im sitting on the fence right now.... apparently it is a web app =/ though i dont really have a problem with web apps i would have more preferred if it was a media player for the pc like wmp / itunes. then again it is still a beta so they can eventually change that. i requested an invite anyways so we'll what happens. (i hope it doesnt end up like google wave.)
  • Does anyone know if it will handle FLAC? About half of my collection is in FLAC, my SGS handles it fine, hoping Google doesn't make me use MP3 or convert to some other losless format
  • Yes it does:
  • Supports FLAC but transcodes them to 320kbps MP3. I'm sure this will be the case with any cloud-based music solution that will support the format.
  • So , Let me see If i get this right
    We basically upload our entire Music library into a server & then we stream back it to the phone\tablet ? Isn't that gonna require allot of streaming & pushing data
    So , thats mean you gotta have to have an unlimited internet plan with a full coverage or a High-Speed WI-FI Whats gonna happen when the Server is down ? Or when Google finds out that some people have downloaded these Musics illegally ? Why not just an iPod Classic ? its got like .. what a 160GB (I stopped following after 120GB) ?
    Or that 1TB western Digital that have a Wi-Fi connections it , so u can play it through any Wi-Fi enabled gadget ? I not trying to be ungraceful or something , Im sure people will disagree with me , but hay ... thats just my 2 cents
  • DON'T YOU EVER QUESTION THE GOOGLE AGAIN!!!! Kidding... Actually the only real application is for people who have multiple devices or more than 32GB of music that they MUST have at all times (But don't want to use an additional device to play it)
  • Kind of agree with this method. It's getting too hard to pick a cloud music service. Just load up the ipod and move on and keep my phone free for all my other entertainment ventures or maybe a phone call.
  • This is awesome and all, but I hope Google allows developers to use their music players with Google's cloud, because I REALLY don't want to use this stock music player when I can use PowerAmp.
  • I would like to see that too. At the moment, I'm using Amazon MP3 player for that exact reason, when I'd much rather be using PowerAmp or Winamp.
  • My question is, how will playlists work? Can we make playlists that will be able to read from both the cloud and local storage?
  • Watch the video or the IO presentation. It's clearly a feature and was highlighted...
  • "We're sorry. Music Beta is currently only available in the United States" Ahrg!
  • I am sick and tired of all new Google products being released only for US residents. At this point, I think at least 50% of Google users are outside of the US
  • It's not Google's fault, it's your Country's restrictive rules that force Google to make you wait, you want it faster, go complain to your local representative
  • The US is basically beta testers for these kinds of things. We see if it works and point out bugs, they fix those bugs, then roll it out to other countries. Since Google,Amazon et al is based in the US, that's likely the way it will always be.
  • Not true, a lot of their Maps features are rolled out in other countries first. I think this particular case has more to do with the legal variations from country to country.
  • Audio Galaxy does the same thing. Have been using for a month or so and it works great. Gives the option for high or low quality in case you have slower data but I have had no issues with playing all my music on high quality. And it does support most codecs including FLAC. It's free, you can stream to any device with the app while logged into your account on the phone. No GB limit that I'm aware of but since you are streaming from your home PC, that must be on and running the helper app to work. Mine runs 24/7 so not an issue for me.
  • I've been using AudioGalaxy on my Evo and my iPad, and it's pretty cool but honestly I find the player and overall user experience a little lacking. The big advantage I see with services like Google Music or Amazon's solution is that you don't have to worry about leaving your computer on (thinking vacation etc. here), or losing your music if your drive fails. Also, for people with less than stellar home internet speeds, this will serve their music a lot faster and smoother, especially for high bitrate tracks. With Google Music, I imagine it's all being served from the edge of the network via Google's ultra fast datacenters.
  • Yup Beeny i agree....AudioGalaxy is one of my 'must-have' apps. Ive been using it for a while now. I have over 260gigs of music and i havent had a problem yet. I always try to let people know about this app. I've found that its better than lots of paid apps that do the same thing.
  • How long did it take to receive an invitation?
  • I haven't received one yet, and won't be holding my breath until I do. From my experience, if you don't receive an invite in the first few hours to a day, you won't be receiving one at all. Google has really been dragging their feet on this one. How long has it been since they first announced google music? About a year. Then it releases in closed beta. How long now? Another year? People hate to wait YEARS for something when competitors are popping up everywhere.
  • That's interesting. I just downloaded the app to see how it works with music already on my phone. It stripped out or doesn't recognize embedded album art on 90% of my music. Nice.
  • Can anyone with Google music spare an invite?