Once limited to Europe, Google Music’s Scan & Match feature is now available to US subscribers for free. It appears that the Google Music feature is competing against Apple’s iTunes Match.
Meet Google Music’s Scan & Match Feature
In an announcement posted on Google Play’s Google+ Page yesterday, the Scan & Match feature will scan a music collection and quickly rebuild it in the cloud for free. Prior to this, users needed to upload their own music—a process that could take days for an audio collection with many gigabytes. According to their status update:
Traveling this season and want to make sure your music goes with you? Add up to 20,000 songs from your music collection to Google Play and stream it to your Android devices and your computer, anywhere you go.
Our new music matching feature gets your songs into your online music library on Google Play much faster. We’ll scan your collection and quickly rebuild it in the cloud – all for free. And we’ll stream your music back to you at up to 320 kbps.
This feature is live today for people in the US, following our European launch last month. Check it out: http://goo.gl/Hehq6! It’ll be music to your ears.
Google Music lets users to match up to 20,000 songs from their music collection, and the tracks can be streamed back at up to 320 kbps without cost. Google Play, on the other hand, has a limit of 300 megabytes per song. There is no option to purchase additional storage either.
Google Music vs. iTunes Match vs. Amazon Cloud Player
In comparison, Apple’s iTunes Match will scan a user’s music library and match it up with tracks available on iTunes Store. All of this can be done for $24.99 per year. The service also has a song limit of up to 25,000—5,000 tracks more than Google’s free service.
On the other hand, Amazon Cloud Player enables users to import up to 250 songs for free, while the Cloud Player Premium that costs $24.99 per year lets users import up to 250,000 tracks. That is ten times more than that of Apple’s iTunes Match.
When late Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the iTunes Match last year, he ribbed competing services from Google and Amazon. During those times, similar services from the search engine giant and the online retailer could take weeks in uploading extensive music collections. However, Amazon added its own scan and match functionality this July.
Although the online retailer has an official Cloud Player app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Google has not yet released an official Google Music for iOS. However, there are third-party alternatives available in the App Store.