It’s been a long time coming, but Google has very silently launched the Music Store for Google Play here in India.
At long last, users in the country will be able to access Google Play Music to purchase songs as well as upload their desktop music library to the cloud to listen to them from anywhere.
While most other countries got access to Play Music since 2011, Indians had to wait a long, long time for Google to finally wade its way through to the country. Google had announced the launch of the Music Store way back in July, but it is only now that we are noticing the update.
However, still missing are a lot of features including a Podcast directory, Play Music All Access for unlimited streaming, a family plan and even genre-based charts.
But what’s there are more than we ever got from Google. It is more than a cross-platform music store. You can see charts listing the top songs, albums and new releases. Broad categories like ‘Best of Bollywood’, ‘Indian Pop Hits’, ‘For the Kids’ and ‘International Music’. There are also separate sections for regional languages. Similar to what happens in other countries, you can preview the tracks and pay for them using your Google account credentials or your registered fingerprint through a debit or a credit card.
You also have the option of buying Google Play Credits which Google began to sell offline in stores since last year and redeem them with a code. It would be especially useful for those who don’t have a debit or credit card.
The updated Play Music will let you upload 50,000 songs from your desktop including your iTunes and Windows Media libraries via Chrome which can be accessed from the app on mobiles, tablets and the web.
Music streaming services are still at a nascent stage with powerful competitors like Spotify and Pandora still missing out on the action. Yet, Apple Music, Airtel’s Wynk, Saavn and Gaana have been there in the Indian markets for quite some time and it will take Google everything they have to offer to gain traction.
But considering that Play Music comes pre-installed in most Android devices and with over 97 per cent of the smartphones sold in India being Android devices, the Music Store will at least be accessible to majority of the country.
The Google Play Music Store is available on Android, Web and iOS in India. Some users have complained the login for iOS is currently broken, but Google won’t take long to fix it with an update.
Yesterday, Google also unveiled the YouTube Go app, that lets users share videos offline, a mass-scale public Wi-Fi program and a data-friendly version of Google Chrome.