I have not been been much of a fan of Google’s play into music — but today, I think I might just change my mind with my new “Google Play Music All Access” subscription.  The new service is an odd dog, to be sure, but it seems to be worth both its bark and its bite so far.

I like how Google always gives you a free month to poke around a new service.  Giving a $2 discount to early adopters for the All Access Music service is another fine step.

Once you join, you are taken to your Google Music page and there’s a new Radio section.  The instruction to “Listen Now” is confusing.  I guess you type in the search box the music you want and then Google will find it for you.

I decided to do a search for “Fall Out Boy” since I have some of their old music in my Google Music library and I decided not to purchase their new album because I didn’t like the sound.

You can see how the new Fall Out Boy album is presented for listening — along with other songs of theirs — that are already in my Google Music Library.

It looks like you can add albums to your Google Music library without actually purchasing the music — this is the Spotify-like meme, but I find it confusing.  Which songs are mine and which songs am I renting?  If I stop my service, will these added albums be deleted from my library?

I was confused, so I checked out my Google Music settings to see if there was a section that told me about my rented music.  All I learned was that I was still maxed out and forbidden from uploading any new songs from my local music library — and that my next bill date for the music service was June 14, 2013.

I decided to do a search for Chris Brown.  I’ve never purchased any of his songs and none of his work is in my local music library.

Google All Access Music presented me with Chris Brown radio options and album options.  I don’t know why one would ever choose listening to a radio mix over an album, but maybe I’m not getting the beauty in the mix of the service.

I clicked on Chris Brown and listened to some live album music.  It sounded okay and worked as advertised. I did not add him to my library.

Google Play Music All Access is a great start.  I’m not thrilled with the streaming quality of the music, though.  Google needs to fix that and somehow up the “high fidelity” of these songs to match the robust sound Spotify delivers, but this is a good lure back into Google Music for me, and I can only hope they’ll get their act together and allow many more uploaded songs than just 20,000.


  1. The price would put me off to be totally honest – especially if the streaming is not up to Spotifys standards, I am still trying to wade through getting my Spotify in English through a Portuguese ISP – something for a rainy day when I am not trying to pack up boxes.

    1. I had a paid Spotify subscription for awhile, and you can only get the top streaming sound by paying for it. I found Spotify to be rather dark and hard to conjure. With this new Google Music service, it’s $2 cheaper than Spotify, and while the sound isn’t as good, I actually like it that, unlike Spotify, Google All Access just runs in my browser. I don’t have to give up any local disk space or install an app to use it.

  2. I found the free spotify worked well enough for me – I could live with the adverts – and running it as an app was never an issue for me either.

    1. That’s fair and makes sense.

      As I’m listening to more Google All Access music I haven’t purchased — Trace Adkins and Blake Shelton — it’s seeming to me like the streaming quality is suddenly sounding a lot better. We’ll see how they tweak this out over the weeks to come. SMILE!

      I can say that adding new tabs and loading content can make the Google Music songs stutter as the new page loads. That’s annoying!

  3. ah a cynical ploy to get you to buy it …………………….. will be good to learn how it evens out over the coming weeks …………………..

    1. Apple and Amazon are working similar “Spotify Killers” streaming music services — and the moment one of them provides something equal to Google, I’m gone! I have 100% of all the music I own on both Amazon and Apple music services, so I much prefer to play with either of them and not Google.

  4. Thanks for this! Now that I see some pros and cons I’m probably going to try it too. How annoying is the lower quality of the music? Is it just fuzzier-sounding?

    1. The Google have already made several interesting tweaks to the system since I wrote this review.

      Now, when you search for an artists, “My Library” returns show up first, followed by “Songs” and then, finally — “Albums” — which seems to now imply albums that you do not own as a part of your library.

      There’s no harm giving it a try. You have a free month to explore!

      When I initially listened, the songs sounded thinner and farther away — like a lo-fi recording.

      Now, I have to say again, that since I wrote the review, Google have flipped a switch somewhere and it sounds like surround sound now! Deep, rich bass lines and glistening highs! The songs are full and of incredible quality. I don’t think I have any digital music I’ve purchased that sounds as good as this new “streaming quality” Google are now providing.

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