The cloud is now used for many things, from simply storing documents, to create and editing files online. Google Play, in addition to many other things, offers a place to store up to 20,000 tracks which can then be listened to online or with a range of mobile devices. This number relates only to songs from your ‘personal collection’ and is in addition to any purchases you make. Google Play Music Manager is the tool you need to get everything up and running.
Install and launch the app, sign into your Google account and you’ll be asked where you current music collection is stored. There is support for iTunes and Windows Media Player, but there’s also the option of just opting to work with files stored in My Music, or any other folder for that matter. If you have your music scattered across multiple folders, you can add them all to your Google library.
Once your library has been created, you can opt to have any new files that you add to these folders automatically uploaded. This ensures that you always have access to all of your most recently ripped CDs and other music acquisitions without the need to remember to manually sync anything.
Even if you have a relatively small music collection of just a few hundred tracks or so, you’re possibly envisioning a very lengthy wait while all of your music is uploaded for you. Well, unless you have particularly eclectic tastes, you should find that things happen much faster than you might expect – if Google already has a copy of a track you own available online, there’s no need for it to be uploaded.
In practice, however, just how long it takes for your collection to be made available online will depend on its size, the types of music you like, whether your music files are ripped or purchased as well as the speed of your internet connection. The web interface for the music player is comparable to an online version of iTunes. It is a little limited, but it gets the job done.
You can create playlists, listen to albums in their entirety or pick out individual tracks. In addition to the usual browse by album option, a large library can also be searched or you can filter tracks by artist, genre or alphabetize them.
Google Play Music Manager is available free of charge for Windows, OS X and Linux.