Google I/O 13: Google Play All Access Hands-On, Can It Compete With Spotify?

Posted by on May 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm
Google's moved this service a lot since it debuted two years ago.

Google’s moved this service a lot since it debuted two years ago.

It didn’t take much arm twisting to get me over to Google’s Music service to give their new All Access subscription service a try. I’ve spent the past two years messing with the service without committing, but it may be time to finally give my monthly music allowance to Google. How does it compare to Spotify? Let’s take a look.

For a refresher, Google Music also serves as a warehouse, which is actually how it started. You spent a day or two uploading all your music and then you had access to it everywhere. With All Access, Google now grants you access to the music library they’ve been building for streaming for a minor fee. You get a 30-day free trial to start and if you sign up before June 30th, you’ll even get a discount on the normal rate – $7.99 instead of $9.99 a month.

On your desktop, Google Music works out of a web browser, which actually became problematic for me since I juggle multiple Google accounts. I would’ve honestly preferred a standalone app. After bringing that up and the new mobile version, I got to glance at how clean everything is now that Google is unifying all its interfaces. I don’t mind that they’re slowly shedding Android’s Holo look for a clean and bright almost Metro-like, new look.

All the music I searched for was here on top of all that music I uploaded years ago. Unfortunately, I realized how outdated my playlists were and the mammoth task of coming to parity with what I’ve already built on Spotify did not entice me. In fact, the service is completely competent and excellent in many ways (although some will be put off by its Android exclusivity), but after a moment to breathe and think about it, I couldn’t possibly undertake a migration right now. Spotify is simply where I’m at. If Google had offered this two years ago, I’d probably be in their boat, but they’re simply not providing a killer reason to uproot.

Still, if you’re on Android and don’t have a monthly subscription service yet, there’s a lot of good reasons to go with Google’s offering. If you need to truly stay multi-platform though, it’d be best to stick with Spotify or Rdio.

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