Google Launches Streaming Music Service – Music Beta; Works On iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch (Sort Of)

Google Music

Google has just launched its music streaming service called Music Beta at Google I/O to compete with Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player that was launched recently and Apple’s cloud based services, which is expected to be unveiled at WWDC 2011 next month.

As the name suggests, Google’s new music service is currently in beta and is available to U.S users by invitation.

Google explains how the music service works:

We also launched Music Beta by Google, a new service that lets you upload your personal music collection to the cloud for streaming to your computer and Android devices. With the new service, your music and playlists are automatically kept in sync, so if you create a new playlist on your phone, it’s instantly available on your computer or tablet. You can use a feature called Instant Mix to create a playlist of songs that go well together. You can even listen to music when you’re offline: we automatically store your most recently played music on your Android device and you can choose to make specific albums or playlists available when you’re not connected.

Users will be able to upload 20,000 songs to Google servers for free while in beta.

You can checkout a quick overview of the service below:

Google apparently hasn’t signed deals with music labels just like Amazon, which means that it will have to store individual copies for every user rather than storing a single master copy of a song.

According to reports, Apple has already signed deals with two out of the four major music labels for its cloud based service (may be called iCloud). By signing deals with music labels, Apple will be able to store a single master copy of a song, which will save significant upload time for the user and storage requirements for Apple.

According to CNET, Google’s music streaming service (sort of) works on iOS devices. Amazon cloud player has started working on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch recently but the web app is still not optimized for the iOS device. It’s a pity that native apps for Google and Amazon’s digital music locker are not available in the App Store and even if Google and Amazon want to launch a native app, we wonder if Apple will approve them.

They say competition is always good for customers, but when we see apps for services like Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music missing from the App Store, we can’t help but question that argument. We hope that Apple out-innovates Amazon and Google in this space so that we don’t miss these services.

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