Google Music goes cloud to cloud with iTunes
Further details are emerging about Google’s forthcoming cloud music service, and it makes for interesting reading. A $25 per year ‘locker’ fee will let you store your songs in the cloud, as well as give you full song previews (none of your 30 seconds here) and heavily integrated social interaction.
Let’s take a more detailed look…
Google Music Locker
Yes this is your music in the cloud, and here you can put the music you have purchased from the Google music store.
Additionally you may also be able to store tracks from your hard drive that Google has licence for, even if you’ve obtained them from another retailer (such as iTunes or Amazon) or other alternative ways, such as your own CDs and…well, you get the picture. These would then appear in your Google music library available for stream or download.
How To Listen
Google is obviously going to put the Google Music service into heavy use on its own platforms, and none comes bigger than the soon-to-be world’s most used mobile OS, Android. You’ll be able to stream direct from your handset or download for those areas with less than capable signals.
There is also likely to be a Web-based player (let’s wait and see if it’ll have Adobe technology) so if you can browse to a page anywhere – you can listen. A boon to listen to your tracks when not at home, especially if the browser becomes integrated into devices like the Sonos music system, Revo’s Axis or even Web-aware TVs like Samsung’s UE40C8000.
Full Song Previews and Social Interaction
If you are a big fan of strokey-beard noodling jazz odysseys, you’ll know that a measly 30 seconds is not going to show the squawking genius of Miles to a non-believer. No, you want them to be wrapped up in Bitches Brew for the full 27-odd minutes to appreciate it – and Google hears your plea.
The service aims to offer a full track preview to listeners – just the once mind, so while you can listen to every track on it once, you still need to buy the album to listen to it again. What this means socially is you will be able to recommend a track, album or even playlist to a friend and they can check it out and get to judge each song on its full merits.
This puts the service somewhere between Apple’s Ping and Spotify, and could prove to be the 21st century mixtape.
At the moment, the whole service is shrouded in mystery and nothing has been confirmed. Billboard say that no favours have been made to Google in terms of pricing, with digital albums still costing $7 wholesale, with tracks at 70 cents average.
We’ll wait and see if the vast coffers of the big G will take a hit to get the service off the ground, but if nothing else it’ll give the legions of Android users present and future an excellent integrated music service that will bring devices like the Samsung Galaxy S and HTC’s forthcoming Desire HD into the ‘cool’ arena, and won’t leave their owners longing for Apple’s behemoth.
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