jasonphoenix Jason Phoenix: Testing: Google Music Beta (pt. 1)

6.28.2011

Testing: Google Music Beta (pt. 1)



When I first started this journal*, I thought I'd be writing about my phone, a then relatively new Nexus S.  The idea was that I'd put it through its paces with my busy lifestyle, and write about my experiences with the device--especially how well it integrated with Google products, being a flagship Google Android phone and all.

However, I spent so much time enjoying (and exploring, fighting, and organizing) with my Nexus S that I didn't really blog** about it at all.  I was too busy doing things constantly with my phone to bother to write about the successes and failures I encountered along the way.  This idea of product testing/review was related in turn to a decade long effort to try out every PDA I could get my hands on*** and find the best one.  After all of that effort, I can cut it all short by saying simply
that the Nexus S is both fantastic and phenomenal.  Or vice versa, phenomenal and fantastic.  My only complaint is that I've scratched the screen, which has absolutely nothing to do with the software.  I can happily say it is in fact like having a laptop in my hand, which coincidentally lets me phone out if I need to.

As for the Google integration thing I really wanted to put to the test (and have), I've come to believe The Google Ecosystem is still developing and evolving, but if it manages to mature and integrate across Chrome and Android, I think they've got a serious contender for the throne.  In fact, because their products and projects seem to be completely independent of each other, they appear to be literally evolving on a week to week basis.

Unfortunately, the people making the Google Apps don't seem to be communicating with each other (like maybe the Keyboard people talking to the Docs and Blogger people more frequently about how they can work together), but one can hope for some sort of unifying force to coalesce at some point.  (Assuming, of course that their whole multi-headed hydra approach doesn't somehow spark off a bizarre (and ironic) monopoly investigation if the damn system ends working.)

Anyways, at the point I figured the Nexus S is old news, or by now someone's thoroughly reviewed it, or both.  Hopefully both.  If you haven't heard, get one.  Or wait for the next one.  I'm enjoying mine, and I'm not sure how I got around without it before I got it just a half a year ago.

However, I did get something worth blogging about, because I am going to thoroughly test it.  And then blog about it.  I received an invitation to Google Music (beta) earlier this month (!!!).  I was so excited that I signed up right after an 8 hour trip and then passed out, so unfortunately the Terms and Services portion of the sign up process eluded me.

In basic, Google Music allows you to upload 20,000 songs which you can then stream to any browser or Android device.  I intend to put this to the test.  I have computers.  I have an Android phone.

Over the last 10 years, I've managed to cram 240 Gb of music onto a 250 Gb harddrive.  I don't want all of that instantly available, but I'm extremely curious about a bunch of things, like how much will Google really let me put up there?
How does the Synch work--in relation to iTunes and how I organize my music collection presently?
Is Google going to look up all that album art I never bothered with for me?  What about filling in the blanks on my metadata?
How will it handle my massive Pink Floyd discography, a present model of ultimate discog organization?  What about the massive and disorganized Jimi Hendrix discography containing multiple boxed sets of reissues of the same 70 songs over and over, a model of bad discog organization?

And of course, what about my own music (a primary concern of mine, if on one elses)?

Oh, it is going to be fun.  I started by having Google send me everything free they can, to test the system--much like the CD's for a penny deal.  This was partly because synching can only be done with a Windows or Mac computer, and I use neither of the two.

So, the first hurdle will be finding a computer with a connection I can use to upload the bits and pieces of my collection I want to access anywhere.  Initial tests were mostly successful, but the wireless/internet/gremlins interfered.  The second hurdle will be performing some screen captures and talking about the interfaces for desktop and mobile, in Chrome and outside, and on my Android here, presumably.

So there you have it.  I love my Nexus S, and stay posted for an actual review of Google Music (beta), ongoing.

* call it a blog if you want to.  I'm still going to call it a Journal, and pretend I'm a Journalist.
** okay, I guess I also call it a blog.  Sue me.
*** honest to God, I have managed to use almost an example of almost every PDA made from 2000 to 2010.  Someday maybe I'll blog** about it in my Journal*