Early Word on Google's Music Beta: Good But Not Great
Early Word on Google's Music Beta: Good But Not Great

Just days after Google's Music Beta debuted, some hands-on reviews are giving the music service mostly good reviews. People liked using the service but often complained about the upload time - an encouraging sentiment for labels that want Google to offer a time-saving catalog-syncing function that would require licenses.

A writer at Business Insider was "blown away by how easy it is to use" Music Beta and said it was "way better than Amazon's Cloud Player." The only downside mentioned was the slow upload time ("be prepared for it to take days to sync up").

A review at Information Week is fairly positive. The author found the track upload process to be easy yet "slow and laborious" - 194 MP3s required five hours! The web-based player is called "basic but intuitive and easy to use." "If you want the ability to create your own digital jukebox in the cloud, the Music Beta by Google is definitely something to keep an eye on as the service grows and matures," it concludes.

A brief hands-on recap at CNET insists "the whole system is fairly smooth" but complains that Music Beta will not allow the user to download files to more than one computer (so entire music collections cannot be distributed to many devices). That's a fault for people who want to use the service as a two-way locker, but it will clearly limit large-scale piracy.

A more detailed review at PC Mag walks the reader through the set-up and listening experience. While it's short on actual adjectives or criticism, it does characterize the sound quality as "excellent." The review concludes with this: "Google has put its own imprint on [an old] concept, and it's far less cumbersome than plugging an iPhone or iPod into a computer."

PC Mag notes that free music is available - something Google announced at the I/O conference - but does not mention which specific titles.