infoTECH Feature

March 25, 2011

Google Music Store is Ready for Launch

CNET News reports that Google (News - Alert) has begun testing Google Music internally, and is ready to launch the much anticipated service soon. In fact, industry sources have told CNET that employees at the company have begun trying out the new service. 

Technically, Google Music is a streaming service that users can access from Web-connected devices. 

Meanwhile, negotiations with at least some of the top publishers and with the four largest record labels are ongoing, according to sources, writes CNET News. Furthermore, the news site said that the delays are largely due to the complexity of the subject matter. Google is after cloud music rights and not just for songs acquired from Google Music, wrote CNET News reporter Greg Sandoval.

Based on information conveyed by the source, CNET News also reported that Google is negotiating for the right to store users' existing music libraries on the company's servers.

To further expand iTunes, music in the cloud is also on the discussion table of Apple. Bloomberg (News - Alert) reported that the labels are in similar discussions with Apple about cloud music, or music stored on third-party servers rather than on consumer’s personal device.

CNET report indicates that record labels are interested in working with Google to create another competitor to iTunes that is of the same caliber.

Lately, the competition in the digital music arena has slowly declined because the competitors are slowly fading away. New players with new ideas are needed to bring vitality back into this service. Hence, it will be interesting to watch how Sony new Qriocity streaming-music service will evolve over time. It was introduced last month in the United States as a competition to iTunes. It is designed to play songs on a mix of Sony devices, such as the PlayStation3, Bravia TVs, and Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system, as well as a range of Sony's portable devices. For $10 a month, Qriocity subscribers get access to music from all four record labels and 6 million tracks.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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