Google Play Music - Why is it so bad?

I’ve recently been trying to get into using Google Play Music, because in theory it should be the best mobile music option ever. Right? Because I have this huge library in iTunes, but I also want to stream Spotify style, but a ton of the music I listen to isn’t available to stream. So since your capped to 20k songs on Google Play anyways, the idea is I just make playlists for the music that isn’t on Play to stream, and let Play fill in the rest, and now I can effectively stream my whole music library from anywhere.

So why does it suck? Well, because it just doesn’t work right. For starters, you don’t have enough options for managing library syncing with iTunes. Your options are whole library, which if it’s too large it just takes it as far into the alphabet as it can get, or upload playlists. Here’s the first problem.

  1. Music Manager won’t detect new songs in playlists correctly.

It just won’t do it. If I create a new playlist in iTunes, sometimes it won’t see the playlist at all. After restarting the program sometimes it’ll see the playlist, but will list 0 new songs detected in it. There is no refresh button within the program. And best I can tell the only way to fix this is to reinstall the entire Music Manager. Which brings me to another major problem:

  1. No duplicate song management.

When you reinstall Music Manager and tell it to sync your playlists again, it will reupload everything a second time, and just append the same songs to the same playlists, which eats into your cap and makes your playlists needlessly twice as long.

So the only way to fix THAT, is to delete your whole library from a browser, and start over from scratch. Except, that only sort of worked. Somehow it didn’t delete everything, and I still have random playlists with dupe tracks. And this isn’t easy to fix, it takes hours for you library to delete, and takes hours for the playlists to upload, and then you find out after hours of waiting that it’s fucked up and you need to start over again.

Other issues include:

  1. No playlist folders.

Spotify didn’t have this either which annoyed me to no end. Like wow, why isn’t this a feature? What possible reason could there be? I just end up with this giant alpha sorted list of playlists. I like having my chiptune folder, my ocremix albums folder, my SDCompo folder, my random metal playlists folder, my video game soundtracks folder, etc. etc. When iTunes added this feature, it was actually the last time an iTunes update made me happy, and it made me really really happy. Before I screwed up and lost them (because iTunes doesn’t have a good way to backup a playlist library and folders) I had the most truly epic set of playlists that I built over years, and they were so convenient.

  1. Playlists are capped at 1000 songs.

Why, why? Just why? Why would I want to go over that, you ask? Plenty of reasons. First of all, this would be an easy way to manage syncing. I could just put all the music I wanted synced with Google Play but didn’t have a playlist for in one big playlist, and they would end up in my Play library. Beyond that, I have an ocremix playlist with almost 3000 songs in it that I like to put on shuffle. Now to even have them added into my Play library I’m going to have to arbitrarily break them down into 3 separate playlists. Sometimes I make giant genre playlists and put it on shuffle, and these playlists are pretty large. There are plenty of scenarios where I’d want a playlist to go over 1000 songs, and I just don’t understand why there would be a limit.

  1. Library capped, and can’t pay to increase it.

This one thing would make the first 2 problems just go away. I would gladly pay an additional subscription charge to increase my cap to a place where I could just sync my entire music library and not have to worry about managing playlist uploads. I would even literally stop using iTunes, and just set a folder full of music to sync. But you just can’t do it.

So in closing: I’m disappointed in this service, but I do have high hopes for it. If they just address a few issues, it would be really really awesome. But for now it’s just a harder to navigate Spotify with buggy cloud storage.

Hm dont understand what this is good for? Do you have a gigabit upload connection? Why not putting the whole music on an external, miniature drive + symlink the iTunes library on this drive? In this way the drive will work with every iTunes on every computer without any rescanning. Only need to setup the symlink from external drive to the user dir once. You can select a iTunes library on start by holding down shift (or was it ctrl?)

Well I have to main goals with this, be able to stream to my phone, and be able to stream from a browser so I can listen to my music at work without having to install anything or bring in a harddrive. I do not have a gigabit upload connection, but once the music is uploaded it’s in the cloud, not like I have to constantly serve it up in order to stream it.

I went from Rhapsody, to Rdio, to Apple Music. The cap for the sync there is 100K. Also if you got your stuff in iTunes it won’t count against your limit. Since I’ve been on subscription services for such a long time I didn’t have a huge library to sync, but I grab stuff from bandcamp and add it to my iTunes library now and then.

Edit to add: Amazon’s limit for sync is 250K.

AFAIK Spotify is already good enough, if you switch to high quality mode. Not that I am a fan of streaming from a perspective as musician, but Spotify actually seems to be nicely done, also the apps they provide.

What is not good though are those “remastered” versions appearing from extremely well mixed 80s and 90s songs, now much louder, very flat and fat sounding in an ugly way. For example check songs from Madonna or Michael Jackson on Spotify. It is mastered so in such an ugly way, you cannot enjoy these songs anymore. Spotify also features that auto gain thing, so you can listen to the music at same loudness.

Also I think M4A at 320kbit is already very, very good, it is like mp3 ~ at 640kbit.