If you're still carrying around an MP3 player to listen to your song files, Google's got some good news for you today. The company announced that starting now, you can upload 50,000 of your own music files to Google Play Music, so you can stream them on your Android phone or iPhone. The limit used to be 20,000 songs, which was still big enough for most personal music catalogs, but now you get more than double the capacity.
Head over to the Google Play Music website from your desktop and log in to your existing Google account to get started. From there the site will walk you through the process of installing the Chrome app or using the Music Manager software to add your music files. You can grab your entire library from iTunes or elsewhere, or just pick individual tracks and albums to add.
When you're done uploading your files, you'll be able to stream or download your music from the Google Play Music apps, which is preinstalled on most Android phones and available to download on. You can also play music from your desktop, from the Play Music website. And, if you subscribe to , the company's $10-per-month streaming service similar to and , you can stream your songs along with Google's 30-million strong library as well.
The extra storage is more than you get with iTunes Match, Apple's competing service that costs $24 per year (£22 in the UK and AU$35 in Australia) and has a limit of 25,000 songs. With Google's offering you're getting twice the space for free.
Though many people are moving toward strictly streaming their music, myself included, there are still plenty of reasons why you'd want to listen to your own song files. For one, streaming services don't have the rights to offer all music, so many artists, including the Beatles, are missing from their catalogs. Also, modern artists likeare pulling their music off these services, with others considering the same path. But if you have the song files from those artists, you can upload them to Play Music and stream them on your own. It's the best of both worlds.