If you’re an iTunes user, you might be under the impression that you have to use Apple’s iCloud in order to take your collection to the cloud. On the contrary, you can actually enjoy the music you love through Google Music (currently in beta) using the import features of its Music Manager software. Yes, this even works on a Mac.
First, you’re going to need to be signed up for Google Music Beta. You can receive an invitation from a friend or through expressing your interest at the main Google Music site. At the time this article was written, Google was throttling beta sign-ups, so it may take a few days for your invitation to arrive via email.
Once you’re in, Google will take you through a setup wizard that will ask a few basic questions including where you would like Google Music to pull your library from. You can assign a specific folder on your drive, the assigned Music folder on either Windows or Mac, or your iTunes library using the iTunes player. All you need to do at this point is select iTunes and hit continue.
You will then be prompted to download a the Google Music Manager, which handles syncing between your iTunes library and Google Music. If you have a larger music library, this can take a very long time. Each song has to be uploaded by itself and processed before it can become part of your available tracks on Google Music. It’s important to note here that only DRM free songs and supported file types will be accepted by Google Music. M4P (DRM protected AAC), ALAC, OGG, WAV, AIFF, and Real Audio tracks aren’t currently being supported. If your catalog does meet the necessary requirements, you can sit back while they upload two-by-two to the cloud.
Some advanced features of the Google Music Manager include the ability to set a maximum upload, which allows you to spare upload bandwidth for your other needs while files are being uploaded. You can also decide whether or not you want Google Music to sync with any new songs added to your iTunes library after the initial upload. This can be done automatically, at set time intervals, or manually.
Once this is done, you can enjoy your iTunes library from anywhere you can get a solid Internet connection on a supported browser. All this, and you don’t need to spend money (at least not yet) to access files you didn’t purchase from iTunes.