Google promised I/O attendees invites to Music Beta today -- and sure enough, mine rolled in a couple hours ago, so I thought I'd take it for a quick spin.
In a nutshell, the beta label is well-deserved at this point. On both Chrome and on my phone, I was really pleased with how quickly and effortlessly tracks started streaming over 3G... but the setup process isn't without its hiccups. Using the companion Music Manager app that you use to boost tracks from your PC into the cloud, Josh and I both noticed that it's pretty easy to upload more content than you mean to. Granted, it's a rookie mistake that you'll only make the first time you use it, but here's the kicker: once the app starts the "scanning" process on your content, there's no way to cancel and go back without quitting Music Manager altogether -- and it takes quite a while to scan (about 10 minutes for 6.6GB, I found).
Once I had some content uploaded and I picked up my phone, the new Music app gave me a little trouble, too. I cut the nonsense out of the video, but basically, I wasn't able to see any of my cloud content at first; Google's only advice is to make sure that you're running an Android 2.2 or higher device (which I am) and that you've got your Google account set for auto-sync (which I do), but no dice. I ended up rebooting and it worked fine after that, so I'm not sure if it was a one-time problem, a symptom of the fact that I've got two Google accounts synced to the phone (one with Music Beta access and one without), or something else entirely -- but at any rate, it's working now. All's well that ends well, right? You can see the full walkthrough after the break.