CNET First Look
Google MusicCNET Senior Editor Donald Bell walks you through the ins and outs of Google Music, the search giant's MP3 store and cloud music service.
Hey, I'm Donald Bell and this is a First Look at Google Music. This is Google's music store and Cloud locker and a real competitor to iTunes and Amazon. On the web, you can access the Google Music store by heading to market.android.com/music, and here you're gonna find a curated selection of songs and albums along with top songs and a free song of the day. When you dive into an album page, you'll see album info and pricing along with track listings that offer 90-second song previews. You also notice a section here for similar artists down here on the left for discovering more music. After purchasing a song or an album, the music gets instantly transferred over to your online Google Music library in a high-quality 320 kbps MP3 format. You also have a Share button here that will show your music purchase to your friends on Google's social network and allow them to listen to the full track once for free. Now unlike most music stores, your purchased music doesn't automatically download to your computer. If you really want the file, you'll need to find it on Google's Music library and select the Save to Computer option. This option is only here for music you purchased from Google. You can upload up to 20,000 additional songs from your own computer and stream them at no charge, but you can't download them back down like you can with purchased tracks. The real payoff here is for Android phone users. The music store is also accessible for the mobile version of Android market and your purchased and uploaded music tracks can be streamed back down to you using Google's music app. Now, it's worth noting that the Google Music app is a different app than what probably came installed on your phone. It's a free download, but if it doesn't have this black headphone icon, you've got the wrong app. iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users can also access and stream their music collection by heading to music.google.com on their Safari web browser. So there you go, that's Google Music in a nutshell. It's a clean-looking, well-priced music store with some smart Cloud innovation and convenient features for Android smartphone users. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.