Google is holding its annual I/O event later on today, but the company has already released information on the products it is set to announce. One of which is called ‘Music Beta by Google’ — a service that provides users with online, cloud-based storage for up to 20,000 songs — and looks set to rival Apple’s upcoming iCloud.
Google doesn’t yet have deals in place with any of the major record labels, so the ability to purchase and download music through the service is currently non-existent, however, you can use the service store their your own music for access from internet-connected devices, such as tablets and smart phones. The idea is that you store media content in the cloud and stream it to your device when you want it, rather than storing it on your device and taking up precious storage space.
Google’s launch of this service comes shortly after Amazon announced a music storage service of its own. While both companies have launched their services way in advance of Apple’s iCloud launch, will either of them have any advantage?
Well, no — certainly not with iOS users anyway. Firstly, neither Google’s nor Amazon’s services will be designed specifically with iOS in mind. Whereas it goes without saying that Apple’s service (when it finally launches) will be perfected for the iOS platform. Sure, Amazon’s Cloud Player now supports iOS devices, but it’s not a perfect user experience. We’re yet to see how Google’s services works, but it’s sure to be designed to work perfectly with Android powered devices — not those running iOS.
Secondly, neither Cloud Player or Music Beta by Google currently have any arrangements with the major music labels. You can only use these services to access music you already own — that you’ve uploaded yourself. We already know that Apple is currently in talks with record labels, so we know that with iCloud we’ll at least be able to access music that we don’t already own. Whether that will be with a subscription-based streaming service, or just through individual track purchases, we’re yet to find out.
While Amazon and Google may currently be when it comes to cloud-based music services, I don’t think either service will tempt iOS users away from Apple’s iCloud.
iCloud is expected to launch at WWDC 2011 conference in June.