Music Beta by Google to launch without licenses

Music Beta will be free for US users who get an invite from Google

Google's long-awaited cloud-based music player, Music Beta by Google, will launch today at the company's Google I/O conference, according to Billboard. The service will be free for US users lucky enough to get an invite from Google, with priority given to those with the Verizon version of the Motorola Xoom tablet and to attendees of the I/O conference. Unfortunately, Google didn't come to a license agreement with the major music publishers -- much like Amazon failed to get publishers' blessings with the launch of the Amazon Cloud Drive -- so Music Beta is essentially just a massive remote hard drive.

Here are Music Beta by Google's known features:

  • Storage: Google allows for 20,000 songs to be uploaded into the cloud, a vast difference from Amazon's 2,000 song/5GB limit for free accounts.
  • Uploading: Uploads will be handled by a small downloadable client available for both PC and Mac, TechCrunch reports.
  • Flash-Based Web Player: Music Beta by Google will have a flash-based Web player that, according to TechCrunch, will be integrated with Chrome OS.
  • Android Only: Currently, Music Beta is destined only for Android-powered devices. Billboard reports that Music Beta is optimized for Android 3.0 Honeycomb, but that any Android device running version 2.2 or above can also use it.
  • Single View: Songs streaming from Music Beta will be seamlessly integrated with those contained on the device's hard drive, meaning Music Beta will not be a separate app. Google is also planning to launch a new music app for Android devices today.
  • Instant Mix: Functioning almost exactly like Apple's Genius playlist creator, Google's Instant Mix creates new playlists based on a single song by analyzing the song's characteristics and matching them with other tunes.
  • Syncing: Playlists created in Music Beta by Google will appear on all players associated with that Google account, syncing across desktops and smartphones alike.
  • Sound Quality: Streaming files can run as high as 320kbps depending on network connectivity and device support.

Without the support of record labels, users will not be able to share their Music Beta by Google tunes or purchase new songs. Google is clearly miffed by this slight. Zahavah Levine, Google's director of content partnerships, told Billboard that the major labels were "less focused on innovation and more on demanding unreasonable and unsustainable business terms."

Google had been planning to integrate other cool features like a "scan-and-match" locker matched a user's songs to a centralized server, rather than requiring a long upload process.

Apple, meanwhile, has been working with publishers to obtain legit licenses, but has yet to utter a peep about its forthcoming streaming iTunes service, which is rumored to be integrated with an upcoming MobileMe revamp.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Motorolamusic filesmedia streamingGooglewebinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?