Google Music lets you upload up to 20,000 songs to the cloud and stream your music to any PC with a web browser or to an Android device with the Play Music app. While Google doesn’t offer an official Windows 8 app, there’s a 3rd party app called gMusic which makes Google’s music service feel like it was built for Windows 8.
When you fire up gMusic and login to your Google account, it will fill the screens with icons for your playlists, artists, albums, and more.
You can dig into sub-menus by tapping any icon and play tracks or add them to a queue with a few taps. Swipe down from the top of the screen to bring up playback controls and shortcuts to skip to your queue or return to other menus.
But what really makes gMusic worth the price of admission (which happens to be free), is the search functionality.
From the home screen you can just start typing and the app will start bringing up search results, whether you’re entering an artist or album name or a song title.
The app also supports Windows 8 snapping, allowing you to snap gMusic into a small window on the side of your screen so you can see the song that’s currently playing and controls to pause, play, and skip tracks.
While the basic gMusic app is free, it includes advertisements in both the full screen view and the snap view. You can upgrade to an ad-free experience with a $1.99 in-app purchase. There’s also a $4.99 “ultimate” package which the developer promises will eventually bring additional features… but for now all it does is remove advertisements.