Aug 8, 2013

The Google Play Music All Access Disaster


Well, sometimes you know, it's hard not to be in Silicon Valley if you are a geek. But sometimes, you have reason to get grumpy, because you know something is wrong. Very wrong.


Today I heard the news. Google Play Music All Access is available in Europe, after month of waiting. US-only is the biggest downturn if you live not in the US. Now, the problem here is, it's not available in "Europe". It's available in only a few countries. The biggest markets are missing, like Germany.
I made a furious post about it on Google+. And you have all the right to be upset if you live in a country now, that is not supported, but especially in Germany. And here is why:

The GEMA. Yes, the beloved institution that now denies paying artists for years now on YouTube, because they refuse to make a deal with Google. But is the GEMA guilty alone? I'm not sure any more. For a contract there are to parties. They have to set the conditions and get an agreement that is acceptable for both sides. For a music streaming service, like All Access, there are pretty much standard procedures. That is why many, many companies offering legal streaming services in Germany, like Deezer, Spotify, MyJuke and many other smaller players. So it's clearly possible to make an agreement on that.
And Google? One of the biggest companies are not able to get a deal with them? I see it's not that easy. But for the customers, it is. No service, no money. It's that simple. Neither for the GEMA, nor for Google.

Today, after reading this, I bought the Premium+ package for 9.95 at Deezer. The offer a huge database of songs, and are available for years now in Europe, incl. Germany. The French-based company has managed to offer a good service within the web-browser or via mobile-app for iOS and Android. And yes, you have unlimited number of MP3 tracks you can upload. That's it for Google Music for me.

You know, the interesting thing is, all this rants about the unavailability of Google products are a compliment for Google. We know their services are great. Don't offering them, let people make feel themselves 2nd class customers. And at Google, we are I guess. With all the problems, that Vic Gundotra is talking about, I really feel with Google. But for a company that size, I just demand to make things happen. Especially while many others can do the same. Google Music in Germany is a disaster.

So I wait for the Chromecast, buying movies on Google Play Movies, Google Edition Phones, and a decent Chromebook in Germany. But I'm not waiting any longer for the All Acces Streaming Service, as the competition already offering excellent services on European based servers. Something you get as a bonus, and is very interesting these days.