Google Play Music- Your iPod and Pandora Had a baby
Google Play has a Music section that incorporates all of your favorite music resources. I've switched over to using Google Music on my mobile and desktop devices rather than my iPod for quite a few reasons.
Get Your Music Anywhere- Once you upload your music to Google Music, you can pull it up anywhere you have an internet connection. Once you've done that, you can download your music to that device to use when offline. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to update or change something on my iPod, but couldn't because it was synched to one particular computer I didn't have access to at the time. Now, I can add or delete a song and have the change reflect on my Chromebook, phone, work computer, desktop, and iPad. For Band, I can quickly update our summer workout playlist from home or my desktop, and it will change on my phone, even as we are outside working out.
Large Library of Music- Much like iTunes, Google Play has the option to let you download your favorite music. The benefit to this is that your Google Play account can share your funds between music, books, movies, and apps.
Playlists- As with iTunes, you can create your own playlists within your music. Occaisionally, Google Music can even put together playlists based on your music and stations. Create playlists based on artists, genres, composers, or even tempos. This year, we'll have specific warm-up playlists where all the songs correspond to the show in tempo.
Radio Stations Based on Life- This is one area where I think Google Play edges out Pandora. I love some of my Pandora stations, but sometimes, I'm not sure what kind of music I'm in the mood for. Google Music takes the time of day and gives you station suggestions based on what might be going on in your life. Below is an example of Thursday afternoon's choices. If you check in the mornings, there are great Get-Up-And-Do-Stuff playlists. Each suggestion, like "Having Fun at Work" will give you subcategories to hone down your selection. These are fun, not just for your own productivity, but when you need a boost in your classroom. Turn on study music during down time. Turn on get-pumped-up music before a football game. Try epic movie scores before a competition. Whenever you need to set a mood, there is a playlist available for you.
Now, I'm only scratching the surface on this one. There is a subscription service available as well that gives you access to millions of songs and pieces of music. Use that to get reference recordings for your band, whether it is concert band music or pop music for football games. If you choose to stick with the free version, there is still plenty you can do. Even if you don't use it for your full music library, it's great to carry your most-used music around with you at all times.