The iOS version of Google Play Music has finally appeared and nearly equals to its Android counterpart, allowing users to store and stream their own music libraries or, with the £7.99-per-month All Access upgrade, tracks from major labels. Users can also create custom radio stations from any song or album, or listen to one of several predefined stations.
Unlike competitors Pandora and iTunes Radio, there is no limit to the number of tracks a user can skip when listening to radio stations. The inclusion of skip limits has long been a pain point for users of other services.
If you are new to the service, Google is offering a 30 day free trial to All Access. Personally, I decided after using the All Access trial not to renew it. That’s because my own library is extensive and I would rather buy the music so that I owned it outright rather than pay nearly £100 a year and not own anything.
I would recommend everyone backing up their digital music collection to Google, as getting 20,000 stored free is ideal, and then you can stream them wherever you are. It is also worth remembering that if you buy mp3 downloads via Google’s own web store the songs are added to your cloud collection without affecting the 20,000 song maximum allowance. Also note you cannot purchase music on this new iOS app. One last point, Google offers higher quality bit rate at 320mp3 than Apple’s iTunes Store at 256 AAC bit rate.
And what will the developers of the third party iOS apps do now, especially gmusic2? For years they provided the only way to get Google Music on iOS.