Google All Access Music vs Spotify and Deezer

The orange arrow sets off-line mode.

I quit waiting for Google to launch an iPhone App, to go along with their Google Music All Access streaming music service, sometime ago. Two years ago, on November 16th 2011, I wrote Google Music — is it right for Spinning / Indoor Cycling Instructors? 

We were just learning (and getting excited) about Spotify in the Fall of 2011. The promise of another similar service gave me hope that competitive pressure between these two would lead to continuously improving service = a better product for us to use in class.

I have to admit that until I received an alert about this, I had forgotten all about Google music. Spotify, now that the playlist timer is back, has been working very well for me.

So today there are a bunch of articles excitedly talking about the new Google Music All Access iPhone App. So right after my FTP class this morning, I downloaded the new App to my iPhone. Because I have a Google ID, my phone recognized me right away and...

then the confusion began 🙁

The App didn't work. It would show songs, but trying to play them, I kept getting an error message; unable to stream.

I must need to log in to the actual All Access service or something, I thought. Searching through every button or link I could find on the App relieved nothing. So I did a search on my computer (using Google) for Google Music All Access, which brought me to this page for Google Play Music. This is a big deal, so I figured they would have a large banner saying "Click Here to make your new App work", but they didn't. You need to scroll way down the page to find anything - I had actually scrolled past it at first, left the page, then came back and then found the mauve banner that finally linked to where I could subscribe.

Why isn't there a way to subscribe right on your phone? Or at least a "this won't work without an All Access subscription, silly" notification. It would have prevented me wasting 20 minutes of my life.

Thankfully it's free for the first 30 days - then $9.95 a month. All Access offers a way to download a playlist for off-line use, which is good, but that's it for the functionality important to us. There's no option to change the order of songs on your iPhone - only on the desktop. There's no crossfade, or gapless playback options.

It may be that Google Music All Access was designed specifically to go against iTunes Radio. Unfortunately it has a long way to go before it will be of any value to me.

NOTE: If you found this looking for help with Spotify, we have lots of tutorials and informational articles here.

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