When it comes to music streaming services, there’s quite a variety of options to pick from. While Spotify may be the most popular of them all –offering support for not only android and iOS, but also windows phone, ps3/ps4, blackberry and a web player–, you should really give Google Play Music a chance. It is actually pretty good. Despite what you might hear about cultural and acoustic analysis at Spotify and the Music Genome Project at Pandora, I’ve heard that every service uses the same basic strategy for getting to know your preferences. Called collaborative filtering, it’s where you predict what one user will like based on what similar users like, and it’s something that anyone with a sophisticated team and enough data can do.
All Play Music users can store up to 50,000 tracks for free in the cloud. It is the perfect home for the digital music collection you’ve been lugging around since college and a great way to help the app get to know your tastes. So far as I can tell, no other service has a comparable free feature. A Play Music subscription comes bundled with access to YouTube Red, letting you watch any video without ads and stream special shows. For anyone who watches a lot of online videos, that’s a great perk.
We don’t know how many people use it, since Google, unlike its competitors, has never released subscriber numbers. We do know it comes on every Android phone and, whether people know it or not, included with every Google account.
It’s just one more thing that Google is quietly revolutionizing.