No longer in Beta, Google has announced an update to their Google Music Service. Here is the breakdown.
The service will remain free to host 20,000 of your tracks online, for streaming playback via mobile devices, download and syncing of playlists between devices. I love being able to set a playlist as available for offline playback and forget about it until I want to listen to the music when a connection isn’t there. The service downloads music in the background, and has the ability to limit music streaming and downloads to wifi connections only if you are worried about blowing your data cap.
You can now buy tracks via the Android Market, and they will be available immediately in your online library, and sync to your computer shortly thereafter. There are a pretty good amount of free tracks available right now, some good some bad, some neither here nor there. You can do all of this from your browser, and the music shows up in your library within seconds.
The missing cog so far has been the social element. Google Music now allows your friends to listen to any song you buy once, via invitation. More than enough to share and let them know f they would like to buy it on their own. I like this addition, and I hope that they one day will open the sharing up to the rest of the songs in our library as well, but baby steps here folks.
The service now goes up against the Apple Music store directly, If yo have an Android device 2.2+ and you want the Music app update you can always download it immediately, or wait for the app store to prompt you. I like this player and I hope they come out with a app based client for iOs devices soon.