I’m investigating Google Music in the same way that I investigated Amazon MP3’s cloud locker. Here’s some initial thoughts:
1. The Android app only works on firmware version 2.2 or better. For those of us on 2.1 and haven’t had the over-the-air upgrade (which, if I understand my provider correctly, is not due for a very long time), we’re out of luck. Attempting to manually upgrade crashed my computer repeatedly. Fun. Amazon 1, Google 0.
2. Google Music’s uploader took about the same amount of time as Amazon’s, but it slowed down my computer dramatically for almost a week. Amazon 2, Google 0.
3. Google’s instant playlist option fills in the holes in your music library with other like artists, which is very cool. I don’t have a great deal of female singer/songwriters, so when I made a Regina Spektor playlist, Rachel Yamagata and Sara Bareilles appeared in the list. Nice! But I do have a bunch of dude singer/songwriters, so Google didn’t fill in as many tracks on my Mountain Goats list. Also very cool. Amazon 2, Google 1.
4. Google’s “Free Songs” library has bands like Oasis, Ben Folds Five, Modest Mouse, Blitzen Trapper and Empress Hotel. That’s neat. (It also has Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” which gets it like a million extra points.)
5. It’s really intuitive to use, and the streaming has (so far) been flawless.
Overall, I’m incredibly annoyed at their decision to only support 2.2 or above (I bought this phone* in March. It is not old.), and therefore will be using Amazon’s MP3 cloud player until the situation resolves itself in my phone upgrading and/or Google downgrading. But if you’ve got a 2.2 Android, I would check it out; it’s pretty sweet.
*I would just have my phone company upgrade it, but there are some things that void the warranty.