Google announced its cloud music service, Google Music Beta, at Google I/O in San Francisco today.The service launched in Beta and is invite-only in the US to start. Invitees will be granted space for 20,000 songs on Google’s servers, and will be able to access them remotely from any computer or Android device.
Google Music will compete directly with Amazon’s Cloud Player and Apple’s forthcoming cloud music service. Google, like Amazon, launched Google Music without the permission of record labels.
Google initially sought permission from music labels to “scan” your library to determine what music you own so you wouldn’t actually need to upload all of your music to their servers (which could take hours or days, even), but couldn’t reach an agreement.
Had the deal gone through, Google could’ve saved a ton of server space by streaming users one version of a song, rather than storing and streaming the actual song file a user owns.
See below for pictures and and a video from the Google Music website which detail some of the service’s features:
- Upload up to 20,000 songs to Google’s cloud and listen to it from any computer or Android device
- Beta service is invitation-only for US users, and will initially be free
- Use gorgeous CoverFlow-esque browsing on your Honeycomb Tablet. The interface looks beautiful on tablets.
- “Seamless” experience across all devices and computers; playlists stay in sync across all of your devices
- Offline mode allows you to play recently played songs, even without an internet connection. You can also select which albums, artists, and playlists you want to have available offline. No signs yet as to how much music you can store in your device’s cache for offline listening.
- Pick a song and InstantMix (iTunes Genius clone) will create a 25-song playlist of similar music for you to listen to
- Music Manager for Mac and Windows uploads your music library to the cloud
- If you get a new Android device, all you need to do is sign into Google Music and your entire library pops up on your device.
- When you sign up, Google offers you a bunch of free tracks in various genres to get you started.