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Google Play Music now stores 50K songs free, Apple's iTunes Match still at 25K songs for $25/year

Google Play Music on Wednesday was updated to store up to 50,000 songs in the cloud for free, more than doubling its previous limit of 20,000 songs, and also blowing past the 25,000-song cap of Apple's subscription iTunes Match service.




Google users who use the free Play Music service —available with an official app for both iPhone and iPad— can now store up to 50,000 songs for free to stream or download. Songs must first be uploaded from a computer or Mac before they can be accessed from any device.

In contrast, Apple's iTunes Match costs $24.99 per year, and limits matching and uploading to 25,000 songs. Beyond the 25,000 limit, Apple does not accept any more matches or uploads, though traditional iTunes purchases can be added to a user's cloud-based media library.

Amazon also charges $24.99 per year for its premium Amazon Music matching service, but those who upgrade can match or import up to 250,000 songs— ten times that of iTunes Match.

Apple does up the value proposition by including ad-free iTunes Radio listening for iTunes Match subscribers. But the remaining 25,000 cap puts it behind chief competitors Amazon and Google for users who might have ultra-large music libraries.

Apple's iTunes Match service is flanked by the aforementioned iTunes Radio, which is a Pandora-style music streaming service that creates personalized Internet radio stations. And the company also acquired Beats Music last year, a Spotify-like on-demand subscription streaming service.