I’ve been a Google Music Beta user since the product first arrived six months or so ago.  Yesterday, Google Music lost its “Beta” tag and went live and that’s why this morning — after trying the new service for less than a day — I am un-pinning my Google Music Chrome browser tab and forgetting all about the service.  Google Music is now useless to me.  Google Music is dead to me.

Yesterday, I was sort of thrilled to hear there would be a Google press conference discussing music.  I was looking forward to a lifting of the 20,000 song limit and easier ways to import and export music.

Boy, was I disappointed.  There’s still a hard and nasty limit of only 20,000 songs.  Importing and exporting music is a real drag — even when using the Google Music Match program on your computer to facilitate the process.

I purchased a few albums from the Android Market music store as a demonstration of good faith — I like the 320kbps default bit rate for songs — but the music did not download to my computer.  All the free music downloaded, but not the stuff I paid for — so I had to download each track individually and then put them in a common folder and manually add it all to iTunes and then Amazon.  Now that was a hassle!

I have been disappointed by the 20,000 song limit.  I’ve repeatedly asked Google about it during the beta and they have ignored my inquiries.  Google Music says I currently have 20,565 songs.  That 565 songs too many — I guess Google doesn’t count the free music as part of that total, and I know they don’t count Google Music Android Market purchases against you — but as I was soon to discover this morning, Google Music limits your music in a sneaky way.

As I was rooting around the Music Manager to figure out why my new purchases were not being downloaded, I saw a hotlink notification that 2,220 songs had not be uploaded.  That was a change from the standard 1,800 songs I had in DRM-limbo.

When I clicked on the link to get more information, I was surprised to see that Google Music had — at some time over the last week or so — decided I had 2,220 “too many files” in my account!

I received no warning.

I wasn’t asked if I wanted to make room for more music by deleting all the free music from Google Music.  There’s no easy way to mass delete or mass download files from Google Music.

I’m a little angry I have 2,220 songs on my computer sitting dead because Google Music won’t upload them to my account.  Amazon Cloud player will.  iTunes will.  Google will not — and that’s a deal breaker for me.

Now my Music Piping Plan changes a bit.  Amazon updated their MP3 Downloader yesterday and ruined a good thing.  I can’t download new purchases.  That’s okay, actually, because I prefer Apple’s 256kpbs to Amazon’s, and now with iTunes Match, Apple offers much broader, and better, coalescence of intention between my iOS devices.

Now I’ll go back to purchasing all my music from iTunes so everything goes straight into iCloud and doesn’t count against my 25,000 songs limit. Then, once a week or so, I’ll fire up the Amazon MP3 Uploader — that one still works for now! — and have it scan my iTunes library for new songs to upload. I have unlimited MP3 storage on Amazon. Then, I’ll let Google’s Music Manager continue to remotely identify new music in my iTunes library and then refuse to upload it to my account. I will not buy new music from Google again. I’m stuck with just a music locker with them that is frozen in time by Google because of a hard songs count that I have no way to manage or alter.

17 Comments

  1. It’s obviously a contractual thing with the record companies. If I knew the hard limit was basically un-manageable, I never would’ve taken the time, or the bandwidth, to upload all my songs in the first place. What a failure of a promise!

  2. I, too, was hugely disappointed that Google provided no option to at least purchase extra storage beyond the 20,000 songs. I, however, have more than 33,000 songs and the 20,000 limit for Google Music is better than the flat-out denial of service from iTunes Match. Still, cloud music will not really be viable to me until I can at least pay for storage for the full library. I mean who wants to listen to Abbey Road when Google has excluded Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam!? I’m still having a hard time understanding these limits with no alternatives. I agree it is probably contractual, but I don’t understand WHY this would be a sticking point for the labels. I realize I am in the minority with a library of this size, but I have been an avid music collector for more than 35 years. It seems to me folks like me would see the most value in this sort of cloud-based music service.

    1. Hi Jim —

      Yes, I thought Google was really going to smash it out of the ballpark yesterday and redefine the online music niche. Instead… the remained in third place behind iTunes and Amazon and, I might even argue, Spotify… which would then put Google Music in fourth place. I thought Google Music storage would be integrated with Google Docs and if you needed more “locker space” for your music, you would just upgrade your storage gigs and pay to play.

      I don’t understand why we aren’t more valued as customers. We are power listeners. We don’t have any pirated music. We want ease and convenience when it comes to accessing our music libraries.

      Do you have an Amazon account with unlimited music storage? That seems like the perfect solution for you. At least you’d have one almost free backup plan in place for all your good sounds.

      1. David, I’m looking into both Spotify and Amazon now. I had held out hope that either iTunes Match or Google Music was going to be the solution for me as I use a Mac Mini as a music server at home and have an Android phone as my mobile music player. I pay for storage space already on Google, so, as you say, it seemed like a natural to have that space usable for the Music account as well.

        It seems, once again, that in an effort (presumably) to combat piracy, the most loyal customers are the ones that get screwed. DRM anyone?

        1. I love Spotify. It’s a perfect companion to iTunes. I can listen to new stuff I would never buy and expand the horizon of my ears. SMILE!

          Google has to fix this. They made their big debut DOA. Crazy dumb. They have so much money and power — make it work. We’ll pay for the extra space and be happy about it!

          I hate DRM. I’ve written extensively about the matter. When iTunes when DRM-free, I spent a ton of money updating all my tracks. The extra effort and cash were worth the expense.

          1. Unfortunately, David, I don’t think there will be much motivation for them to fix it. We’re a minority. I have seen very few complaints about the limits online (and I’ve looked!).

          2. It is disappointing, Jim. I wonder how Amazon gets away with offering us unlimited song storage? What type of deal did they strike with the record labels? At least on Amazon you have an easy and fast way to download your music via a few clicks. There no such similar way to do the same on Google Music.

  3. Well AS a member of the “Minority” I have around 50k files and I too was holding out hope that I could get it all up there. I agree I truly think they dropped a huge ball on this one!

    1. Wow! 50k songs! How did you collect so much music? Is it one genre or multiple tastes? It would seem that Google, not Amazon, would be the prime place for power users. I don’t understand their reasoning on this at all. I removed Google Music Match from my Mac last night. No reason for it to run and then refuse to upload the new music it finds. Such a waste.

  4. While it is disappointing that Google will not up the 20k limit even if you offer to purchase space, I think that the author is overlooking the fact that Google is offering the space for FREE! Talk about an ungrateful person. 25k from Apple is $25, 250k from Amazon is $25…Amazon is the obvious choice which is what I am using for the 137k songs that I have. There is a work around to the Google limitation…open a separate gmail address and you get another 20k…problem solved.

      1. I don’t WANT to have to split my music into 2 separate accounts but this is an OBVIOUS solution to an otherwise amazing deal. FREE being the operative word here, why pay $25 to anyone when all you have to do is adjust your strategy?

        Too often people look for the problem instead of the solution. I have 137 thousand songs in my library so my only real choice is Amazon for $25 a year but I may decide to pare down my music collection to 20k or so of ACTIVE listening and use a few Google accounts to do this in. Especially now that Google is offering free music every week.

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