Yesterday, Apple put all the rumors to rest and officially announced their next entry into the music world with iTunes Radio. A music streaming service from Apple has been speculated about for years, and now that it's finally here we wanted to compare it with Google's offering. Apple is late to the subscription-based streaming party, but have a pretty good plan that has me questioning my Google Music All Access subscription already.
For those who've been waiting to see what Apple had in store, today would be a great day to start that free 1-month trial of Google Music, that's for sure. Last month Google announced their "All Access" streaming music option. A service that already delivered cloud storage of up to 20,000 songs then adds the best part of Spotify and Pandora Radio combined. You can stream your own music, find and listen to anything you'd like (similar to Spotify) then create and build your own radio stations just like Pandora. It is the best of all 3 worlds, but it'll cost you.
For those wondering what the difference between Google Music and iTunes Radio are, we'll explain. Google Music All Access is more like Spotify and Pandora combined, while iTunes Radio is simply more like a walled-garden Pandora streaming service. So essentially iTunes Radio isn't anything new, it's basically their version of Pandora. While Google's All Access is Google Music, Pandora, iTunes, and Spotify all blend into one awesome service. You can play millions and millions of tracks, not just create a station that will "learn" what you like eventually. All Access is the complete package!
However, Google Music All Access will cost you. There's one benefit to iTunes Radio and that is the service will be completely free - with ads of course. Just like Pandora you can stream endless radio and get the occasional iAd, or iTunes Match subscribers ($24.99 per year) can get the service without ads. When you compare that price (free) or even the $24.99 a year to Google Music All Access which is $9.99 a month, the service doesn't sound quite as nice. Yes it offers way more, but it costs 5 times as much.
Does Google have a play here? Absolutely. They are delivering a much better service overall. One that has more to offer, less restrictions, and will let you enjoy millions of tracks with ease. All from your PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or Google TV. Or basically any Android device with Play Store access for that matter.
If you want a simple and free music service Apple's option might be decent. For those music aficionados wanting a feature-rich option Google's the clear choice. Oh and did we mention Google Music is coming soon to iOS. This means you can have the best on both platforms. In the end iTunes Radio will have millions of users because the current install base using iOS, and it will be free. As a result, hopefully Google restructures their pricing a bit and we possibly see a $4.99 All Access in the future.
Get started today with Google Music All Access and enjoy your first month absolutely free. For those that signed up last month after Google I/O, your free trial is about to end, so you better decide if you're coming or going. What will be your music service moving forward folks? Let us know below.