Review: Samsung Galaxy Nexus for Verizon Wireless
Google Music is the default media player within Android 4.0. It's the newer player that's tied into the Google Music service. It lets users store and access their own songs from the cloud, as well as sample, download, and listen to new music by track or by album. It's a much improved music experience compared to the stock Android player on Gingerbread and earlier devices.
Since I have Google Music already set up, once I signed in, I automatically had access to my entire music library. The music client makes it easy to sift through songs, playlists, albums, artists, and so on. If you've synced music to the Google Music online service, you can manage a lot of that stuff online so it is more streamlined on the device itself. It's a vastly superior tool compared to the previous music player.
Google Music can be used to stream content over the network, and you can also sync playlists to the phone's storage for listening when offline. In some simple listening tests, I couldn't tell the difference in sound quality between music streamed over the network versus music played back locally. It all sounded good.
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The actual Google Music store itself is OK, but doesn't compare to the offerings of the iTunes or Amazon MP3 music stores. Apple and Amazon have far more titles available for download. Discovery could also be better in Google's Music service.
Android now puts videos shot by the Galaxy Nexus itself and videos downloaded from the Google Music store in one application. Thankfully, it is easy to see which is which. As with music, the selection of movie titles available from Google's video service isn't as good as it is with iTunes, but it is still respectable. Rentals are priced appropriately at $2.99 - $4.99 depending on how new it is and whether or not it is in HD.
The video playback controls are fine and movies look incredible on the Galaxy Nexus's HD display.
One thing I didn't see was support for video sharing tools, such as DLNA.