A few years ago, I wrote about my own personal, internal struggle over online music services. Well now, I have a winner.
I’ve told several friends about Google Music. For the past couple of years it’s been my go-to mobile music manager. Long story short, this is how it has worked: Google uploads your entire library of music to their own servers (a.k.a. “the cloud”) and then you can listen to it on any device with a browser (including iOS devices). This is absolutely free.
And it’s been amazing. I can stream my own music over my phone, I can go to work and play my entire library in any web browser on my work computer, and it syncs up with my iTunes for continued integration with all my offline music listening. And again, all this is free.
And now it’s even better (even though the name is ridiculous). A month ago, Google announced an expansion of this service, and it’s called (take a deep breath): Google Play Music All Access. Basically, what it is is the above Google Music thing that I described (now called “Google Music Standard”), plus a Spotify-like element built-in.
[I know this article is obscenely long, considering the content, and incredibly random, considering this blog. But I just needed a place to vent my thoughts. And don’t worry, Part 3 of my little biographical sketch will be up in the next couple of days. In the meantime, you can catch up: Part 1, Part 2]
I recently purchased the “GOgroove FlexSMART X2 ADVANCED Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter with Charging and Hands-Free Capability” (yes, that’s its full name) and it has changed how I listen to music. It’s incredible and works just as advertised. It is able to take audio transmitted via Bluetooth wireless technology and then broadcast it over the radio in your car. So, long story short, it makes it possible to listen to music streaming onto your phone while driving. The most immediate benefit I’ve found for this is that I can now listen to Pandora while driving.
Of course, Pandora is the much-loved music discovery service where you make “stations” based on artists or individual tracks you like and it delivers songs that it thinks you would also enjoy. (You can view my Pandora profile here.) It has a really high success rate for nailing the sound you’re looking for. You’re then able to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to each song that plays, and it will use this to refine its offerings to you.