Google unveiled its Google Music service and a movie service at Google's annual I/O conference in San Francisco today. There's a web site at music.google.com to get started on what they're calling Google Music beta. It's a cloud based music storage player that works with Android devices or your computer.
You can stream music from what is essentially a Google Music locker that will let users store and play their music from anywhere, by using a cloud-based storage similar to what Amazon has going. In-the-cloud storage is all the rage these days, because it gives you access from your work computer, your phone, your laptop, whatever, whenever you want it.
So what do you get? Basically:
- Up to 20,000 songs stored free of charge
- Offline playback
- Direct streaming of your music
- A Google Music Store is likely forthcoming, when licensing is worked out
- No iPhone functionality, but your browser gives Google Music access
- Instant Mix creates 'Smart" recommendations for playlists based on your library. Think Pandora or iTunes' "Genius" feature
Check out a "Music Beta vs. Amazon Cloud" comparison over a CNET.
Legal? Google and Amazon say so. Although licensing deals are stuck in negotiations, the cloud-based storage in a Google Music locker is legit, says Jamie Rosenberg, director of digital content for Android.
“What we launched today is a completely legal service. It is storing a music collection the user already owns in the cloud in the same way that you might move your collection to a portable MP3 player.”
The news and rumors of Google Music Service has been years in the making, with lots of noise and false starts. The cat was basically let out of the bag earlier this year by Sanjay Jha, chief executive of Motorola Mobility told the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.