Android phone management is a bit of a double-edged sword. And by that, I mean that the devices themselves are self-contained and self-managed. Whereas iOS devices require iTunes to transfer data and the like, Android can do those things without the need to be tethered to a PC. However, that comes at a cost. There's only so much that can be done on the device, and what can be done is sometimes cumbersome. To put it bluntly, sometimes a management solution on the PC is not only good to have, but clutch in taking care of business in a timely manner.
While Google's been working feverishly to build out its Play Store, bringing it to other countries and expanding its offerings, the company's music store has been lacking one crucial feature that its competitors have: library matching. Where Amazon and iTunes can scan your current collection and add the songs to your online storage, Google has, until recently, required users to upload every individual track manually. A long and tedious process. In mid-November, the scan and match feature came out for Europe, and today it arrives for US residents.
Where Google differs from Amazon and iTunes, however, is that this scanning and matching service will be entirely free.
Google Music is old hat. Sorry, guys - it's true. Streaming? Amazon's Cloud Player and iTunes iCloud both have it. Locker storage? Amazon gives you a decent amount, too - and they might even increase it if they feel Google Music is one-upping them. Purchase options? Apple and Amazon both have more music you can purchase digitally, including titles from Warner Music Group (which Google Music does not have), where many major contemporary artists are signed.
Basically, Google did what it had to with Music: it kept up with the competition. Not having streaming, cloud storage, or a major storefront would make Google Music look like a joke next to iTunes with iCloud or Amazon MP3, and this is probably why Google waited so long after the launch of the "Beta" to unveil Music in a more public way.
If you're anything like me, your Android handset has completely demolished the need for an mp3 player, you're constantly adding and removing files from your device, and you find the process of plugging your phone or tablet into your computer via USB to be tedious, if not tiresome.
Luckily, there are a variety of apps in the Android Market that allow users to sync files wirelessly between their computer and Android devices. My Sync Center is one such app, bringing convenient, sophisticated sync functionality to you in a lightweight, easy-to-use package.
At A Glance
My Sync Center is, if nothing else, a no-frills solution to your wireless syncing needs.
Google's Music service has been an incomplete experience since its unveiling at Google I/O back in May. While Music Beta does allow you to upload your songs and stream them to your Android device, it lacks any kind of storefront. Google does have a small library of featured free tunes for Music users, but I can't say any of the albums or artists there have ever really interested me too much.
A quick note on the "rumor" status of this post before we actually discuss it - Business Insider was contacted by a music industry insider regarding Google's deal with various labels, and it sounds legit to us.
To answer the question, briefly: nobody really knows at this point. But I do think Google is going to have to make some sacrifices in the short term if the Music service is going to get off the ground. And that's because the record labels won't play ball - at least not by Google's rules according to All Things D, quoting two apparently well-connected sources.
Of course, the words of a couple anonymous music industry insiders aren't definitively representative of the feelings of all the (presumably numerous) parties involved in Google's Music negotiations. For all we know, those persons could be part of some of the industry's historically more stubborn labels.
While some companies are content to just talk, talk, talk about what they are doing, Amazon seems to be quietly hard at work. Last week they gave us the Amazon Appstore for Android and last night they dropped another bomb – the Amazon Cloud Player.
If Grooveshark and Dropbox had a baby, it would be Amazon Cloud Player. It consists of Cloud Drive - 5GB of free cloud storage on Amazon’s servers (upgradable to 20GB with the purchase of one album or for $20/year; $1 per gigabyte after that) - and the Cloud Player, which can be accessed from the web or from an Android device.
Let's be honest here: Android's current multimedia situation is a mess. For one thing, the included music/video players are seriously lackluster; for another, there's no officially sanctioned way to buy songs or movies from an Android device. Though such features are probably in the pipelines, I believe these are issues Google needs to address now - after all, the iPhone has had these features since its incarnation.