Google wants to transition Google Music into a MP3 music store that will launch this year, taking on the Amazon MP3 Store and iTunes for paid MP3 music downloads. The Google Music Beta rolled out in the Spring, but was a music service, not a MP3 store. Now the Google music player seems destined to become a full-fledged MP3 store, and Google is in talks with major labels over licensing according to the NY Times.
The San Francisco Chronicle backs this up also, saying that they've been in touch with an independent record label that has also been informed of a Google Music Store that will launch sometime this year.
So at this point, it will be two things: a cloud-based Google music manager and a Google mp3 store, with both components making a Google Music experience whole. We can also hope for tight integration with its the Chrome operating system and Android. The upcoming Android ICS Launch could announce more Ice Cream Sandwich features and the much talked about Nexus-branded handset, also called Nexus Prime or Galaxy Nexus.
The past few weeks, Google has been quietly unfolding new parts of Google Music -- last week the Google Music 4 app for Android leaked, revealing for a time the shiny new Google Music app (version 4.0.1). In September, a soft launch of the Google Music iOS app for iPad and iPhone was put online at http://music.google.com/.
We originally heard about the Google Music service at Google's annual I/O conference in San Francisco back in May, when they announced it as the Google Music Beta. Details were scarce, other than the unveiling the cloud-based music manager that's online now. It stores up to 20,000 MP3 tracks in Google's Cloud storage service so that users can listen to songs with mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, or Android tablets and phones. Reports of the Google mp3 music store have been surfacing since last year, so at this point it's hard to tell if this time is the real time. Then again, we said that about Apple and iTunes in the Cloud, and that arrived.
Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.