After the European launch last month, Google is now bringing the music match feature for the folks in the US. If you don’t know how this works, the service scans your local library and then adds those track to your online Google Play library so you can stream them later from anywhere.
This feature was already available on both iTunes and Amazon’s music service. Both these services are paid. Apple and Amazon charge $24.99 per year, which is not a bad deal when you consider what you’re getting but Google is offering an even better deal, where it’s free of cost, at least for the first 20,000 songs.
Just like iTunes, Google Play does not upload your entire library on Google’s servers but just scans it and adds it to your online library. This is a significant improvement from the past where you had to upload every track. Later, you can choose to stream it at 320kbps, regardless of what the quality of your original local file was (assuming Google has a 320kbps version of it). Unlike iTunes, however, Google won’t let you download the file in a higher quality version and you can only stream it. Also, it would only match tracks that are in Google’s store. You can still upload tracks as before, though.
The feature is now available in the US and available for new users. For existing users who have tracks already uploaded on the cloud, Google will try to match them without you having to re-upload them.