Google's Music Beta by Google rolled out May 10 at Google I/O, along with a new movies application for the Android Market and several other plays by the open-source operating system.
SAN FRANCISCO -
Google May 10 took the wraps off of its Music Beta by Google streaming music
service, the search engine's bid to challenge Apple's iTunes and Amazon.com
at Google I/O, the company's fourth annual conference for developers, Music Beta
lets users upload their personal music collection to Google's servers, which
store it and stream it to users' computers, Android tablets and smartphones.
The move is
the latest bid for Google to shake up the market by cutting the cord on music
downloads, storing users' content in the cloud and provisioning it on demand to
the user. Amazon in March
its own Cloud Player that lets users upload their music
library to Amazon Cloud Drive, and can save any new Amazon MP3 purchases
directly to their Amazon Cloud Drive for free. The first 5GB are free. Enhanced
storage plans start at $20 a year for 20GB. Apple is rumored to be delivering a
cloud music service to complement iTunes later this year.
Manager Paul Joyce said during a demo that playlists uploaded to Music Beta by
Google are automatically kept in sync, across computers, tablets and
Joyce showed a
feature called Instant Mix on a Motorola Xoom Android 3.0 "Honeycomb"
tablet that lets users create a playlist of songs that go well together.
Users may also
listen to their music when they are offline, as Google automatically stores a
user's most recently played music on their Android device. Those who didn't
watch the Google I/O webcast may see a demo in this Google blog post
Music Beta by
Google is launching in beta today to U.S. users, but like Gmail 7 years ago, is
available only by invitation. Users will be able to upload up to 20,000 songs
free for now. Google hasn't said what, if anything, it would charge for the
service when it's properly polished.
like Amazon, Google has not secured music labels' permission for streaming the
Rosenberg, Google's director of digital content, argued
that its approach is completely legal,
that it is simply providing a music storage service for users. However, he
allowed that labels were not receptive to Google's service under its current
said a more radical product is coming in the future: Project Tungsten, an
Android device for Music Beta that lets users control music within the
forthcoming Android@Home network the search engine is building.
Engineering Director Chris Yerga then showed off a new application on the Xoom
tablet that lets users rent movies from the Android Market Webstore
Books and applications before it, users may rent movies from the Android Market
via their computer and watch them on their Android tablet or phone. As with
YouTube Movies, Google is offering thousands of movies starting at $1.99.
Users may rent
from Android Market on the Web today, but Google will be rolling out an update
to Verizon Wireless' Xoom customers today.