Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Agence France-Presse: Google unveils online music service

 Google on Tuesday launched an invitation-only test version of an online music service, which does not sell songs but allows users to store their collection for use on various devices.

                                                                                                     AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM

 "When you add your music to the new service, you can listen to it on the Web on any compatible device," Google product manager Paul Joyce said in announcing the new service.
 Google was getting around having to cut deals with music labels by crafting a service that lets people to store digital versions of songs they already own in an online "locker" which they can access using gadgets linked to the Internet.
 As many as 20,000 songs could be stored at Google Music, Joyce said at the Internet giant's annual developers conference in San Francisco.
 Google Music began rolling out in the United States and was by invitation only. People could request invitations online at music.google.com.
 The music service is a "compelling platform" for eventually selling digital music, according to Google director of digital Jamie Rosenberg.
 "It has been in our interest and has been in our plans to work with the music industry to sell music," Rosenberg said.
 "Unfortunately, some of the major labels were only interested in doing so on terms that were unreasonable," he continued in a press briefing at the conference. "That isn't going to stop us."
 Rosenberg contended that Google Music is "a completely legal" service akin to a person storing music collections on home computer hard drives.
 Google also used the opening of its developers conference to announce that it is adding movie rentals to its Android Market for digital content for devices running on Android mobile software.
 Prices for rented movies started at $1.99 and films could then be streamed to any Android-powered device. People have 30 days to view rented movies, and must finish watching them within 24 hours of starting.
 More than 100 million Android devices have been activated worldwide and 400,000 new gadgets powered by the Google-backed software are activated daily, according to Google product manager Hugo Barra.


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