Google Music users located in the United States can employ the Android Market to purchase songs and albums, and can also upload existing Apple iTunes playlists to their accounts. And Google is placing a strong emphasis on its music sharing features.
Google Music joins a number of big players already in the online music arena, including iTunes and Spotify. Another competitor: Amazon Cloud Player, which debuted this spring and with features similar to Google's offering.
Here's a quick look at how the two stack up in terms of price, accessibility, sharing and quality.
Google vs. Amazon: Price Comparison
Google Music lets Google account holders upload as many as 20,000 songs from their personal music collections (such as iTunes), and--for now--users can host an unlimited library of music purchased from the Android Marketplace.
Purchasing music from the Android Marketplace requires a Google Wallet account--Google Wallet is the company's online payment service--and individual songs cost between 99 cents and $1.29. Google Wallet is a virtual way to store your payment cards, offers and more on your phone and online.
The Amazon Cloud Drive, and associated Cloud Player, launched last spring, and the service gives Amazon account holders 5 GB of free storage, which can hold up to 1,000 songs. The Amazon Cloud Drive can also store photos and videos.
Storage upgrades start at $20 per year for an extra 15 GB--which also qualifies users for unlimited Cloud Drive song storage--and is capped at $1,000 a year for 1,000 GB of storage. Purchasing individual songs from Amazon.com generally costs between 99 cents and $1.29, which is also inline with Apple's iTunes music store.
Google vs. Amazon: Music Accessibility and System Requirements