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01 March 2012 @ 06:21 pm
Stop being stupid Google!  
Fuck you Google Music. I love the idea of buying DRM free music from a source that isn't iTunes or Amazon, but fuck you and your stupid useless UI.

I bought a couple CDs from the recent Oscars/Euro-pop sale, particularly the Daft Punk CD and the Tron Legacy soundtrack.

So this morning i decided i wanted to actually listen to them. The only hitch was that i was at work. Well, that's not too big a problem, work is generally okay with a little personal network usage as long as you keep it at a reasonable level. The key word there being "reasonable."

So i go to the Google Music website and i try to download the albums. But it pops up a warning saying i can only download each song via the website twice, but i get unlimited downloads through Music Manager!

Okay, fine, you want me to use Music Manager, i'll bite. But where do i get Music Manager from? Clicking "Learn More" takes me here, which does not tell me where to actually get Music Manager. I do a quick google search for Music Manager Download and find this Google support page telling me to "1.Visit music.google.com and click 'Add Music' at the top right of the screen."

This instruction suffers from a number of problems. If you want people to use Music Manager, MAKE IT EASY TO FIND!!! There should be an obvious link on Google Music's front page! Preferable one saying "Download Music Manager" or at least make it an option under the "More" drop down menu, or on the front page of help, or _something_! I shouldn't need to do a google search just to find out how to get the damn thing. Second, it tells you to click "Add Music", except there is no such option anymore. It took me a couple seconds to figure out that they want me to click the "Upload Music" link instead.

So i did manage to download and install music manager. It asked me to pick my music folder, i picked the folder in which i'd put a CD i'd bought from Google before and transferred from home. I unchecked the "Automatically upload songs added to my selected folders" button and hit OK... and it started uploading the songs that were already in that folder. ARRRGHHHHH!!!!! THE POINT WAS NOT TO USE A LOT OF BANDWIDTH!!! And there didn't seem to be any way to cancel!! At least i didn't see one in the thankfully brief time it took to upload a single Cd's worth of songs.

Okay, fine, i'm uploading one CD along with downloading two CDs, just thank the gods that i didn't point it at the root level of my music folder. So i go to the "Download" tab, and there are two options. "Download my library" and "Download purchased music." Well i certainly don't want to download my entire library! I'm trying to save bandwidth! So i click "Download purchased music." And instead of asking me what songs i want to download, it queues up all 350 or so songs that i've ever purchased!!!

Luckily in this case there's a cancel button. So the only other option on the "Download" tab is "Go to Google Music", and i hope that maybe that will open up a mini browser that will let me select the songs via Music Manager. No. It opens up the same webpage i was at before in my main browser, and gives me the exact same warning message when i try to download the albums i want.

Google, i understand that you want me to submit my entire life to your scrutiny, but i do NOT want to put you in charge of my entire music library! I do not want to have to synch every computer that i want to listen to music on with my COMPLETE music catalog. Especially since it apparently takes a couple hours to do the syncing the first time! And you don't even have the fucking excuse that it's a free service this time, i PAID for that music! If i want to download just an album or just a song then you better give me a simple way to do that! If you're going to insist that Music Manager is the right way to do that and cripple the basic web page then there needs to be a way for me to use Music Manager WITHOUT uploading any songs that are currently on my machine (and depending on me having the foreknowledge to create a blank dummy folder to point it at isn't really fair) and there needs to be a way to download JUST the songs i want without downloading everything i've ever bought! If anything that applies a disincentive for me to buy more music because i don't want to bloat up the process any more than it already is!

Oh, and one more thing, as long as you've got me pissed off about your UI already. I've never liked the iTunes way of naming tracks with just the track number and song name and i'm not happy that both you and Amazon have copied it. Audiograbber is perfectly happy to let me specify any format you prefer (for me that's "[Artist] - [Album] - [Track] - [Name]",) is it really that difficult for you to provide options to do the same? You've got all the metadata there, i can see it on your webpage.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on March 2nd, 2012 05:49 am (UTC)
The problem with Google's hiring process which only hires elite level engineers, is that they can't design a UI for a complicated project to save their lives. Search? Sure. It's simple. Engineers like simple. Anything else? No way.

Likewise, there doesn't seem to be anyone on the inside in charge of things like tech writing and documentation bug fixing. I found a 404 in their advertising set-up pages yesterday. You'd think, given that so much of their revenue comes from ads, they'd at least have their ad campaign setup pages not point to dead help links. But no.

I think the company still has a way to go to mature. Jon is loving working there though. He's doing his best.

DonAithnendonaithnen on March 12th, 2012 12:13 am (UTC)
It does seem like a very stereotypical geek reaction, which is kind of surprising. I know plenty of geeks who don't know much about UI or documentation or what have you but are willing to admit that they don't know those things. I find it hard imagining how Google could manage to hire so many people who are unaware of their own areas of inexpertise and not manage to put people who _do_ know those things in the loop.
Kirin: Zaku-dangerkirinn on March 2nd, 2012 02:52 pm (UTC)
I've noticed there seems to be a bit of a culture clash in the tech world right now, with ISPs and telcos trying to wring as much money out of consumers in exchange for bandwidth as they possibly can without an enormous backlash, and online service companies on the other hand basically assuming that consumer bandwidth is infinite and free.