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Google service streams music to PCs and Android devices

May 10, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Google has taken the wraps off its “Music Beta by Google” streaming music service, the search engine's bid to challenge Apple's iTunes and Amazon.com music services. Users will be able to upload their personal music collections to Google's servers, which will stream it to computers, Android tablets, and smartphones, the company says.

Demonstrated at Google I/O, the company's fourth annual conference for developers, Music Beta is the latest bid for Google to shake up the market by cutting the cord on music downloads, storing users' content in the cloud. Amazon launched its own Cloud Player in March that similarly lets users stream music they have uploaded. (Meanwhile, Apple is rumored to be delivering a cloud music service to complement iTunes later this year.)

Google Product Manager Paul Joyce said during a demo that playlists uploaded to Music Beta by Google are automatically kept in sync, across computers, tablets and smartphones. He used a Motorola Xoom Android 3.0 tablet to demonstrate a feature called Instant Mix, which allows users to create a playlist of songs that go well together.

According to Google, users of the Music Beta will be able to listen to their music even when they are offline, as the software allows saving "favorite albums, artists, and playlists on your device." For now, the service will allow each user to allow as many as 20,000 songs to the cloud for free, the company adds.

Music Beta by Google is launching in beta today to U.S. users, but like Gmail seven years ago, is available only by invitation. Google hasn't said what, if anything, it will charge for the service when it's properly polished.


Music Beta by Google has a web-based interface …
Source: TechCrunch
(Click to enlarge)

The TechCrunch website reported receiving one of the coveted invitations and posted screens showing that, like the Amazon offering, Music Beta by Google provides a web-based interface (above) for uploading music. It's said Google will also provide a Music Manager application (below) for desktop computers that automatically uploads songs after they've been imported to an iTunes library.


… and also includes Music Manager software for automatically uploading music
Source: TechCrunch
(Click to enlarge)

Like Amazon, Google has not secured music labels' permission for streaming the songs. Jamie 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 iteration.

Google Cloud Engineering Director Chris Yerga also showed off a new application on the Xoom tablet that lets users rent movies from the Android Market Webstore, then watch them on their Android tablet or phone. As with YouTube Movies, Google is offering thousands of movies starting at $1.99.


A demonstration of Music Beta by Google
(click to play)

Further information

Music Beta by Google accounts may be requested on the Google Music page.

Clint Boulton is a writer for eWEEK.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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