back to article Google opens Android music store in iTunes' face

Google has opened up its beta Music service to all US computer users, and has plumped for free as the best model for music streaming. “The Google Music service will continue to be free,” Jamie Rosenberg, Google’s head of digital content for Android, said. “Other cloud music services think you have to pay to stream music you …


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  1. BasevaInc

    Ok lets see 800,000,000 songs, USA population 312,621,102 that is about 2.5 songs per person on average - may be this why the beta is only available to the US not enough songs for every one.

    1. CaNsA


      I'm in the UK and have been using the google music service for the past 3 months.......

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because no two people listen to the same song?

    3. Xin Eoph

      I am honestly not sure if you're serious.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Are you assuming that if I 'have' a song, then you can't 'have' it anymore?

      Surely we can both have 800,000,000 songs???

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You makes iKloud, I makes musik, ja!

    No, I don't think this is an answering shot for "Apple's audacity in creating the icloud".

    But it could be a better Zune.

    Anyway, other than that:

    Cool! When does it get worldwide? Is there DRM-free tracks?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I think you miss the point.

      It DOES make iCloud look rather naff.


      a) it's free (with free space for you to upload 20,000 of your own songs to stream anywhere)

      b) it's got better paid-for artists onboard (all the major labels)

      c) It's got better indie artist support (Artist pages, royalty-free publishing for wannabe artists)

      d) It's got a far bigger audience 200m Android users for starters.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        a) iCloud is free

        b) except Warner

        c) hmmmm - myspace

        d) iTunes is available to anyone with a computer

        1. Anonymous Coward

          d) iTunes is available to anyone with a computer

          But is avoided like the plague by anyone with more than half a braincell.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            I tend to agree

            see title!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Sorry Nergatron, Barry Shitpeas the fandroid-in-chief has decreed it thus, and therefore so it is. No amount of rational discussion or reason will change this and woes-betide the criticiser of the Holy Chocolate Factory of Maintain View or any of their products for they are greatest and can do no wrong. Ever.

          1. Anonymous Coward


            Thanks AC. It's not as if I'm a fan boy of any kind, I just like a bit of balance

        3. Rob Beard

          d) iTunes is available to anyone with a computer

          That is simply not true, I can't run iTunes on my VIC20 :-s


  3. Duncan Macdonald

    Attractive rates for performers

    If Google is charging 30% commission, that is far below what traditional music publishers take and could be very attractive to many performers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not really. Especially if you're selling millions of songs there are better alternatives out there, talk to TuneCore or CDBaby.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it be like the android market?

    Will there be free tracks? I can image a band releasing lower quality audio free as samples - just like the old flexi singles you used to get on the front of magazines.

    1. Rovindi

      Flexi singles!

      bloody hell! hadn`t thought about them in years.

    2. Armando 123

      old flexi singles

      Oh, man, I think I still have my old Billy and the Boingers flexidisc somewhere in a box. Dagnabbit, now I need to dive into the attic again.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Dive into the attic?

        Where I come from, we call it a basement.

  5. F. Svenson

    Google music is inferior to amazon mp3+cloud.

    Googles android player blows, especially the ui...

    Plus amazon offers unlimited music storage if you buy an album. Better player, better cloud, and the fire makes a nice ipod replacement.

  6. JDX Gold badge


    Is it proper streaming like iPlayer/4OD/Netflix, or does it let you download a local copy so each device is stream-once-play-many?

  7. Magnus_Pym


    I wonder if they will de-duplicate the music storage. This would require only a tiny fraction of the storage especially as so many people will have the same must haves in their collection.

    They can already identify a track from a sound sample so perhaps in the future you can play them a clip through your phone and they will link the song to your collection.

    1. EvilPixieMan


      You sir, have probably hit exactly the nail on the head that allows the big G to offer this service for free.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge


        Unfortunately... listening to a few seconds of a track and identifying which one of (many) remixes or versions of it is not the same. I'd be slightly annoyed at uploading the extended remix dub version of Little Fluffy Clouds only to play it back and get the shortened (which in this case is under 5 minutes) version played back.

        While de-dupe could be done, it will not be a pleasant prospect and will only work exceptionally well on content purchased through the embedded store.

  8. Stephen 1
    Thumb Down

    No FLAC, no deal.

    1. petur

      @stephen 1

      So you want to stream FLAC over the internet? Probably to you mobile with a crappy dac inside? Have fun....

      1. SoftFox

        Re:@ Petur @stephen 1

        No your comment was fail..did the OP state to only to a phone..?

        This will stream to your computer, laptop, through to your AV 5.1 surround system etc.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOL at Google's attempt

    Apple started with 5 labels, some more indies and that was 8 years ago.

    Oh, I forgot the new feature is that any monkey with a guitar can sell their songs on this service. Hoppiedodidoo..

    Can't wait to see how that turns out if it's anything like the Android Market... look for Coldplay get SlightlyColdplay, Couldplay, Cooldplay, Cuoldplay, Cuckoldplay... Plus lots of fart songs.

    Excellent idea! 5 *****

    1. Aberdeen Angus
      Thumb Up

      Any of the alternatives would be better than Coldplay....

      .... including the fart songs.

  10. jubtastic1

    The most interesting part

    Is the bit about artists selling directly, this seems like it could be very disruptive to the established industry. I can see Apple adding this if they can do so without the labels cutting them off, and google adding a match service, because uploading hundreds of gigabytes of data just isn't funny over consumer broadband.

    We're getting a little closer to a flat rate all you can eat service with every new music store that launches, which is nice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      already available

      There is something like that for itunes:

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lessons not learned

    After all this time and they still have not leaned anything from the now defunct or the current crop of Russian and Ukrainian low cost music sites. Sure, you will get some of the Itunes crowd, yet you are missing out on a big market. Why pay .99 cents a song when one can go to these unsanctioned sites and get songs for .10 cents. Heck, on one site, you can get the latest Rihanna CD, Talk that Talk, for .88 cents. A whole CD for less than the cost of one song at Itunes or Google.

    Bandwidth, servers and infrastructure cost a lot of money. These sites must be making good profits even at these low prices or they would not be staying in business.

    In addition to the low cost, most songs these days are at least 192kbs, with more and more being 320kbs, and all DRM free. Can Itunes and Google make the same claims?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anti-trust alarms triggered

    How long does Google think it can act as an advertiser (and the primary portal to services through the web for most people) and a competitor to supply those same services? This is a serious conflict of interest. Would you trust a competitor to be the primary link to new customers? Google has to decide which business it wants to be in, or it will inevitably be forced to do so.

  13. Tom 38

    30 percent commission?

    Who do these guys think they are, Apple?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    "one of the shrinking minority with unlimited data plans"

    Oh, sorry, forgot you are writing from the USA

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    nice, the more competitors the better! yepp, they sell mp3's so it's DRM-free.

  16. JeffyPooh

    In case some people haven't yet noticed...

    The Worldwide International Music (artificial) Shortage is over. Music has officially become a ubiqitous commodity, much like atmospheric nitrogen.

    You can all stop hoarding now...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    .... think you have to pay to stream music you own - we don’t.”

    ...until we have plenty of people hooked into it, dependant on it, then we'll slowly get you paying. Only when it's out of Beta of course.

  18. Purlieu

    We're sorry, the document you requested is not available in your country.

    I'm in the UK

  19. Gil Grissum

    I joined up and am awaiting approval so that I can prepare to sell the tunes from my upcoming EP. For unsigned indie musicians, this could work quite well. Myspace abandoned us for the big four. It's not easy to get into iTunes. This gives us a way to sell music to the large number of Android handset users and if Android Tablets ever gain traction, will be selling to them as well.

  20. Slx

    Mobile data?

    The only problem is that the majority of "unlimited" data plans are actually subject to acceptable usage policies and the vast majority of mobile users world-wide still do not have anything like unlimited bandwidth.

    Data plans will often provide enough capacity to give you unlimited browsing of the web, email, app downloads, etc or reasonably huge limits that you are unlikely to reach. However, when you add streaming media to this, you can very quickly run up quite a large data balance!

    If it's streaming everything off a server, it's not going to be very popular with the mobile networks as it will create havoc on their infrastructure and it could end up costing some end users an absolute fortune in data charges if they go beyond their 'unlimited' plans.

  21. Bonce
    Thumb Down

    I don't get it

    What a hopelessly inefficient way of playing music on your mobile! Instead of using a few Watt/hours of energy for playing a track straight from your memory card, you're going to use countless servers, disks, routers and transmitters to listen to the same track, but with a few pauses for buffering.

    Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should be. What point am I missing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You can select what you want to cache offline.

      1. Bonce

        So I upload and then download my music library instead of transferring via USB. Super!

  22. Atonnis

    Google has opened up its beta Music service to all US*click*...

  23. JDX Gold badge

    re:No FLAC, no deal.

    Yes, you definitely need lossless compression for listening to music on your phone on the train through £10 ear-phones.

    I bet he doesn't even know what it is, just heard other pretentious people talking about it and thought he'd jump on the bandwagon.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can stream...

    But you can also choose to cache offline, similar to Spotify.

  25. Armando 123

    Just thought of something

    Is it me, or is Google becoming a 'me, too' company like MicroSoft? They see something successful out there -- facebook, itunes, etc -- and come out with their own version that seems rather me-too-ish. I might be wrong, there may be B2B things they're doing that are mind-blowing, but the consumer-facing ones seem a bit ... derived, for lack of a better term.

    1. majorursa

      To me this a logical addition to the Cloud services that are Google's other products. If anything, putting your tunes in the cloud was a pre-emptive copycat strike by Apple. Calling that iCloud was the polish on the turd.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple will soon

    sue Google because everyone knows Apple invented music.

    Then Microsoft will then sue Apple because everyone knows Microsoft invented suing.

    God - it is a great time to be a lawyer..

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