Google Play Music hits Irish shores
It’s official: Google Play Music, the free digital music locker, has launched in Ireland.
In a post on their Google+ page only a few minutes ago, the company announced that the service is now active in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal, and also Ireland. Play Music itself started in 2011 in the United States, and offers users free online storage of up to 20,000 tracks from their music collection, instantly available to stream on their Android devices or via a web browser. This is in contrast with Apple’s iTunes Match service, which is offered at a cost. Other contenders in the arena include Amazon, whose service is not available here yet, but after tonight’s announcement, they are sure to follow suit and tap into the lucrative European market.
Play Music is heavily integrated with the Google ecosystem, and users are able to share full-track previews with friends on the Google+ website. Tracks are available from 99c, with albums costing on average €9.99. Any tracks purchased from the website do not count towards your free storage allocation. And if you are uploading any songs from your own collection that are already available in the Play Store, they will be identified and instantly included: saving you time and bandwidth, so you will not need to transfer the track to Google’s servers.
This announcement comes only days after I spoke to my music streaming habits. The availability of Play Music in Ireland, and the other countries, can only lead to more competition and innovation in this field. Although I have been a user of the service for over a year now, via some internet trickery, I will be definitely giving the service more use now that it is localised.
You can download the Play Music app from the store now, and start uploading your tracks from the Google Music application for your laptop. While you are at is, try out the new version of the Play Store, which started rolling out today.