I admit I sort of liked the idea behind Google Play Music, and have been using it for about a month now, so felt I could share my honest opinion and experiences.
I have about 12 gig of music in my iTunes library, and I have been using DoubleTwist to sync my music to my Motorola Droid X2. So I was really intrigued to try it and see just how well Play Music worked in my environment. So it was with great anticipation that I loaded the Google Music Manager along side iTunes on my laptop.
Uploading my iTunes library to Play Music was extremely easy, and went without a hitch, and the only items that failed to upload were some audio books. But to be fair, DoubleTwist also failed to sync these same audio books due to the DRM.
Downloading music I purchased via the Google Play store and syncing it to my iTunes library has also painless.
Playing my music back has proven to be disappointing. At home, with the cable modem feeding the wi-fi monster, play back was flawless on the laptop and on the Nexus 7 tablet. Playback on the phone, via wi-fi was ok, but not great. It seemed to load slow, but then playback was good. Playback via 3G on the phone left a lot to be desired, and I found myself launching Pandora Radio instead. What was VERY surprising though, was playback on an older desktop I have in my office. Playing my iTunes library using Windows Media Player worked great. I just don’t like the Windows Media Player user experience.
Now, this desktop is only running a 10baseT LAN card. And it has two 500 Gig USB hard drives attached to it. One is shared with all of the PC’s in the house, and the other is simply a backup of the first drive (accomplished nightly using Microsoft Sync Toy). But during the normal day, when I am using this desktop machine for some LIGHT web surfing, some faxing via OneSuite, and viewing .PDF documents, there are no network intensive processes running in the background. So I was really really surprised that when I tried Play Music (in both Chrome and Internet Explorer) by just how badly it performed! I experienced everything from the music loading slowly, to the stream stopping!
Your mileage may vary, but for now, I’m going to stick with iTunes and DoubleTwist, and keep my music stored locally on my devices.