The service, which was launched earlier today under ‘Google India Labs’, is available at http://www.google.co.in/music and is accessible by users all across the world.
Google Music is pretty-impressive – especially the search part. Existing streaming services like Raaga and MusicIndiaOnline have appalling search – and that’s where Google‘s service scores. The search feature is quite comprehensive. You can search with the movie name, the lead actor’s name (e.g. a search for ‘Shah Rukh Khan’ lists songs from his movies), songs according to time period, and what not. You can even use complex queries to find out Guru Dutt track from your childhood that you’ve so badly wanted to catch up with, using some smart search queries.
The service does not use a native ‘Google‘ player, neither does it host tracks in its server. The songs are sourced from ‘Saavn.com’, ‘Saregama’ and ‘in.com’, says the Google India Blog. Users can choose the player of their choice, for some songs.. The audio quality is decent. ‘Saregama’ and ‘in.com’ players do a good job, while the ‘Saavn’ player quite buggy. The streaming works well in a 2 Mbps+ connection, but the songs stutter in 256Kbps. Another drawback is that the service does not offer playlists.
Currently, Google Music has a comprehensive collection of Bollywood. Tamil, Malayalam, and other regional tracks are yet to make it.
The extent of Google Music’s success is doubtful since India has a strong ‘downloading culture’. Users prefer downloading songs rather than listening to audio streams online – they would still opt for pirated tracks available for download. Another major con would be the slow internet connections in the country – the service needs at least 256Kbps (or above) for smooth playback. Besides, a bulk of India’s internet users use internet plans with data-transfer caps – such users would give this service a miss, in all probability. Then again, Google will have to tackle many established players like Raaga.com and MusicIndiaOnline.
However, the service is a boon for all music addicts. Foraging for that long-lost-track, can now be done in just a click. Enjoy! 🙂