My Review of Google Music

Dear Steve Jobs,

You are dead and there is a greater chance of your haunting my house now than there was of you dialing my number to ask for my opinion about iTunes while you were alive.

If you would had the resolve and temerity to have done so I might have hung up on you because I wouldn’t have believed that it was actually you calling. However if you had called back I would have told you that I like iTunes and use it daily. And then I would have told you why I don’t like the iPhone and how Apple products are overpriced.

We would have gotten along splendidly.

My current phone of choice is the Motorola DroidX. It is not a perfect phone but it does many things well and I have it equipped with an 8GB memory card that has thousands of songs on it. But I love music and I want more so I signed up for Google Music today. I listen to music all day long virtually every where I go so it seemed silly to me  not to try and take advantage of their services.

Here, take a look at this excerpt:

Listen anywhere, even offline

You can get to your personal music collection at home or on the go. Listen from the web or your Android 2.2+ phone or tablet with the Music app available from Android Market. Not online? No problem. You can select the specific albums, artists and playlists you want to have available when you’re not connected. And the songs you’ve recently played will automatically be available offline.

You can also access the Google Music player from your mobile browser if your device is iOS 4.0 or above. Just like you would on a computer, simply visit music.google.com from your device’s web browser to access the Google Music player.

Stay in sync, without the hassle

Spend more time listening to your music and less time managing it. Once your music is online, it’s always available. Playlists are automatically kept in sync, and you don’t have to worry about cables, file transfers, or running out of storage space.

Your collection, now in one place

Upload up to 20,000 songs from your personal music collection, even if they’re scattered across multiple computers. You can upload music files from any folder or add your iTunes® library and all of your playlists. And when you add new music to your computer, you can automatically add it to your music collection online.

That is 20,000 songs hosted for free. I couldn’t pass that up but I have to admit that the music store is thinner than I would like it to be. But if I can use it in conjunction with iTunes well that makes a significant difference now doesn’t it.

And those tunes are important to me. I am busting my ass to try and write a book. That link is to one rendering of it, about 14,000 words or so. But that blog has far more in it as do some of the other blogs I run.

Uploading songs to Google Music is slower than I would like it to be. It feels a bit like 14.4 Baud but since it is not 1998 that is probably not accurate.

I am excited about this. I see real potential. I use a ton of Google products, Gmail, Calendar, G+, Maps and more. Brin and Page should call me and say thank you because I help to keep them outfitted in their mansions. Me, I am just a simple man of the people who likes tech and gadgets.

Well, the good news to you Ghost of Steve Jobs is that I am not completely sold on this. But I wouldn’t say that I don’t like it either. What I know is that it has a good feel to it and it appears to provide a useful solution to some of my challenges and that makes for a happy customer.

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted about this.

The Verizon iPhone

I am not what you would call a cellphone junkie. I never cared to have the latest and greatest model. It is not because I don’t like gadgets because I most certainly do. If I had deeper pockets or stopped feeding my children my home would be outfitted with a lot more electronic gear than it is today. It is kind of funny to me that my son doesn’t realize that his father is much more of a gear head than I appear to be. The television in our living room is a 26″ beast that has been servicing our needs for about 13 years now. Every now and then I think about replacing it, but there are always things that get in the way, like tuition.

The cellphone, er smartphone is a different story. I switched from a basic phone to the Palm Treo five years ago and never looked back. The Treo and I enjoyed a solid two year relationship that was marred by a few hiccups, such as its proclivity for dying every six months. Eventually I tired of its antics and moved over to a BlackBerry, the worldphone.  It was a great change and I was very happy. It was Jack, the BB and Verizon a stalwart trio if ever there was one. The iPhone was introduced somewhere around this time and many people I knew made the move.

I did not. I had a bad experience with AT&T and their network a while back and saw no reason to switch. I watched as iPhone mania took over and admit that there were times that I wanted one. I listen to music constantly and wished that my iPod could be my phone too, but still I didn’t switch. RIM made my life easier by working out a relationship with Apple. So when I upgraded my BB to the then new Curve I was able to move 500+ songs to my phone.  And life was good again. But slowly I found myself growing weary of some shortcomings with the BB.

It was exacerbated by the happiness that many people found with their Driod phones. I was very impressed with the Droid X that @blindreviews showed me. That sucker is pretty cool and for a while I thought about picking one up. The main thing that kept me from switching is the price. Verizon simply charged far more than I wanted to pay for it.  One of these days I have to share my thoughts on how we are gouged by the cellphone providers, but that is a story for a different day. Anyhoo, the Droid X and I merely shared some flirtatious glances across a crowded room and I thought that would be it. I would wait a bit longer for the price to drop and then pick one up.

Except, I find myself intrigued with the idea of the iPhone. Now that it has made it over to Verizon I see myself eyeing that sucker and thinking about its sweet siren song. I am not a Mac person. Aside from the iPods there are no Apple products here, but I admit that there is something attractive about it. So I was intrigued to read what David Pogue thinks about the Verizon iPhone.

And to answer everyone’s question, the Verizon iPhone is nearly the same asAT&T’s iPhone 4 — but it doesn’t drop calls. For several million Americans, that makes it the holy grail.

That certainly catches my eye as does this:

In general, the Verizon and AT&T iPhones are identical. Same sleek, thin, satisfying, plastic-free body — all glass and metal. Same gorgeous, high-resolution screen — 960 by 640 pixels. Same battery life — you’ll need a recharge every night. Same camera on the back, which can take 5-megapixel stills or excellent hi-def video — the flash doubles as a video light. Same low-resolution camera on the front, suitable for Wi-Fi videochats, using Apple’s FaceTime software for iPhone or Mac.

Even the prices are about the same. The 16-gigabyte phone costs $200 with two-year contract. The monthly service costs, for example, $70 for unlimited voice calls, plus $20 for 5,000 text messages, plus $30 a month for unlimited Internet use. (Verizon says that it will soon eliminate that unlimited plan, just as AT&T recently did. Instead, you’ll pay something like $25 a month for 2 gigabytes of Internet data. Good luck figuring out how much that is.)

The single new feature in Verizon’s iPhone is Personal Hotspot, where the iPhone becomes a Wi-Fi base station. Up to five laptops, iPod Touches or other gadgets can get online, using the phone as a glorified Internet antenna.

Although, I have to concede that the price is still far above what I want to pay. The monthly service charges are significant, even though for me they are business related I never forget that I still have make the payment each month. Nor have I forgotten Apple’s proclivity for introducing new phones three days after the old one comes out. So I think for the time being I may sit and wait a bit longer. There really isn’t  a rush and I still haven’t decided about the touchscreen. I have big hands and there is something nice about having actual keys to press.

Decisions, decisions.

Inventions You have Got TO Have

My buddy Attila has often provided me with some outstanding blog fodder and today he has done it again. Thanks to the big Hun I have learned about the Toilet Forehead Support System.

Now I am sure that the ladies are shaking their heads in amazement, if not envy. You can’t possibly imagine how hard it is to stand at a urinal and take care of your business. Sometimes it is simply exhausting.

In fact this is such a big deal to us big boys that the esteemed Air Time once asked for more Urinal Talk. Just in case you are one of the sad few who missed out on that here is a list of posts you might want to check out.

The Germophobe

Ladies Urinal

Talking Penis

Teach Your Boy To Pee Like a Man

Urine For a Story

He Stole My Lunch

And let’s not forget Toner Mishap’s Urinal Selection Strategy or Treppenwitz’s Glow In the Dark Urine and Urine Invisibility Cloaks.

By now I am sure that you are beginning to understand why we men get so excited at the thought of being able to rest during this arduous task.

As much as I would like to elaborate further upon this I have to get back to taking care of some pressing national security issues. But before I leave I’d like to share one more observation. Many people have said that I have provided lots of bathroom blogging.

However today I realized that I am not nearly as skilled as the wacky Red Sox fan who haunts Aisle Eight. As I sifted through his site I found what seemed like an endless number of potty posts.

It is quite clear that I am but the novice and so I tip my hat to the Great John himself.

Signed,

Your humble Servant.