Google launched the full-flavored version of its Google Music product Nov. 16, adding streaming music to the existing storage locker from last May.
I’ve been poking around on it and found it pretty easy to use. Here’s the new music store in the Android Market:
I took Google up on the invite to download “free music” from the Market and was shocked to find not just singles, but a whole live album by one of my all-time favorite bands, Pearl Jam. This live album, exclusive to Google Music, was recorded in Toronto Sept. 11, 2011:
I downloaded it to my Google Music account and it looked liked this:
You can see above the music library management tools in the left-hand rail. But what do you do when you want to manage within the song itself? It’s not clear, until you hover over a track and see the clickable arrow that expands to show you these options:
The options mirror those in other music players, right? Except for the share option, which I circled.
This stands out because it lets users share any track they purchased from the Android Market music store for Google Music one time with their contacts on Google+. When I click share, this pops up:
And here is the shared song on my Google+ account, where users can listen and comment on it:
That’s another way Google can boost user engagement for Google+, but how is Google going to build user engagement on Google Music?
Free live albums from Pearl Jam may be one hook. Here are some more:
The Rolling Stones are offering an exclusive, never-before-released live concert album, Brussels Affair (Live, 1973), including a free single, “Dancing with Mr. D.”
Google said this is the first of six in an unreleased concert series that will be made available exclusively through Google Music over the coming months.
There is also a live Coldplay track “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” and a five-track live EP from their recent concert in Madrid; Busta Rhymes’ first single from his upcoming album, “Why Stop Now”; Shakira’s live EP from her recent concert in Paris and her new studio single, “Je L’Aime Ã Mourir”; and Dave Matthews Band are offering up free albums from two live concerts.
What is Google Music missing? Anything from Warner Music Group. I don’t really quantify my favorite bands by label so I had to dig a bit to learn that I can’t get cuts from two of my favorite artists–Green Day and Death Cab for Cutie.
This is a bummer, man. But I’m confident Google will resolve this issue next year if not sooner.