Google launches cloud-based music service without label licenses

09:50, May 11, 2011      

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Google on Tuesday launched its long-awaited cloud-based music service Music Beta without any label licenses it originally wanted.

The search giant introduced the digital music locker service at its annual I/O developer conference in San Francisco. So far, only U.S. users can access the service by requesting an invitation from Google while priorities will be given to those with the Verizon version of the Motorola Xoom tablet and attendees of the I/O conference.

Since Google failed to come to a license agreement with major music labels, Music Beta is essentially a massive cloud hard drive. Users cannot share their Music Beta by Google tunes or purchase new songs. It allows users to upload 20,000 songs into the cloud, compared with Amazon Cloud Drive's 2,000 songs and 5 GB limit for free accounts.

Any web-connected devices with a browser or supporting Flash can stream music from the digital locker, but the service is only for Android-powered devices.

Music Beta also gets Instant Mix, a similar intelligent feature to Apple's Genius playlist creator, which creates new playlists based on a single song by analyzing its characteristics.

Before unveiling the service, Google told U.S. media Monday night that the current Music Beta is not the service Google had wanted to offer and it will continue to seek licenses with major music labels.

Source: Xinhua
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