Google Music is a great service, but uploading your entire library takes forever. Amazon and iTunes have offered a service that scans your local library and adds those songs to your online library from their servers instead of making you upload everything. It’s a useful feature, but at $25 a year for both competitors, it’s a bit hard to justify. Today, Google has released the same feature for Play Music in the US, but it’s absolutely free. It has been available for about a month in Europe, but US users now get to take advantage of it.
If you let Google scan your library, it’ll take all the songs that are already available for purchase and add them to your library. Even if those songs are low quality, you’ll be able to stream them at a full 320 kbps. Of course, it won’t let you just download that 320 kbps file after scanning a lower quality one, but the important part is that you’ll be able to stream it that way.
So why do other companies charge for this service? Technically, it’s due to piracy. If you can download a crappy quality song off the internet illegally, then have it in full quality legally online, the system can be abused. Record labels don’t approve of that, so both Amazon and Apple set up fees to negate it. Google, on the other hand, allegedly decided to just pay the record labels off instead of charging per user. Google, thank you very much.