Google has jumped into the shallow waters of the mp3 retail market, along with other internet behemoth’s Apple (iTunes) and Amazon (the Amazon mp3 Store.) Once upon a time, Apple had full ownership of essentially the entire mp3 retail business, but now they are getting some long overdue competition, and in the process have lost some of their marketshare to both Google and Amazon. But, either way, it seems like there is more than enough money to go around, and all the companies will be fine sharing the pie anyway. In the end the mp3 market has been hurt just as much as the record labels by illegal downloads and theft of music from pirate sites on the internet. Created in 2011, Google Music is the newest addition, as Amazon joined the mp3 market in 2007. The verdict is still out on Google Music because it is so new, but reviews have been generally favorable.
What makes Google Music different?
This is an interesting question because whenever a company like Google comes into a market place after it has been well established by competitors, they do have to bring something new to the game, or they will fail. In Amazon’s example, they went with Digital Rights Management-free mp3’s, which means they can be played on any device. It was a bold move for Amazon, but has seemed to pay off fairly well so far. For one thing, Google is going directly for the Android market, which it is competing with Amazon for. Mp3 players have seemed to lessen in popularity as more and more people just opt to listen to their music on their smartphone, instead of carrying around another piece of machinery with them everywhere that they go.
Well, since Google Music is so new, they do not have as extensive of a music library as the other competitors (Amazon and Apple being the largest.) But, their library does get bigger and bigger each year and will likely catch up with the big boys over at Apple and Amazon. One cool thing is that Google Music will offer artists and song suggestions based on an analysis of your song library and the tastes of your friends on the Google+ social media site, which is fully integrated with the Google Music store, by the way.
The storage locker
Google also offers online storage space for songs and other documents that is gigantic. For initial users in the United States, Google would allow people to store up to 20,000 songs in the online locker for free. Now, that is stepping up the retail music game, and most people have responded very favorably to Google’s decision, and hope that other music retailers will follow suit and open the floodgates to cloud storage of music and other items. Google has also managed to make the cloud storage system very easy to manage and even easier to organize, as it does all the work for you.
James is a freelance writer and content contributor. He still uses the media player classic download instead of those newfangled streaming services. He keeps it old school like that.