Google Music is actually the most useful locker service out there. No OS requirements; you don’t have to buy anything, the song limit is actually incredibly generous and based on files, not gigabytes; it lets you store your library remotely and download it to another computer; in short, it’s the most convenient and useful way to store your music in the cloud. So why, according to CNet, is Google Music tanking? As an occasional user, I’ve actually got a few insights into why.
#1) The Prices Suck
Oh, not all the prices; I just bought my first Google Music album in months because it was the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack for four bucks.
But a lot of the prices are terrible compared to, say, Amazon. For example, on the frontpage today, Google Music is pushing “All Eyez on Me” by Tupac and “Songs in the Key of Life” by Stevie Wonder for $19 apiece. Amazon.com price?
Four bucks. Either get the record labels to admit the years of the $20 album are dead and gone, or just refuse to carry any product a competitor can undercut you that brutally on.
#2) You Don’t Market It
I own an Android tablet and an Android smartphone, and whenever I fire up the Market, I see some album covers across the top and that’s it. It’s easy, very easy, to ignore. Researching this article marked the first time I’d even glanced at the store in two months.
#3) The Website Is a Mess
Seriously, why do most of the sorting tabs bring up piles of album covers, and not lists? And why do we need to leave a tab up to listen to our music? If somebody is coding a little widget for Windows to do this, and it’s not you, Google, something is seriously wrong. The fact that Lifehacker felt the need to code their own homebrew solution to add a whole suite of functionality to this website, and did it in Chrome, your browser, illustrates where you’re going off the rails, Google.
Google Music will survive in some form: Google is currently at war with Apple and Amazon for Internet supremacy, and as long as Google Music pulls eyeballs and users, it’ll be around. We just want it to be much, much better.
image courtesy Google