Google presses play on cloud-based social music sharing service

Google music WATCH VIDEO: Step aside, iTunes: Get Android-friendly tunes with the new Google Music service

Google musicGoogle wants you to know that there’s another, easier way to listen to and share music when you’re on the web, with your smartphone or connecting with your friends (hint: it doesn’t involve Apple’s iTunes or Amazon’s MP3 store).

The internet behemoth released its not so secret music sharing service, aptly titled Google Music, to hoards of hungry music fans on November 16.

The service opens up a world of music downloads to people living in the US but leaves international customers faced with a “we’re sorry, the document you requested is not available in your country” message.

An elite few have been trialing a small part of the service since May, when Google launched Music Beta at its I/O developer conference. However, the public launch of Google Music brings a swag of new features.

Google Music is about discovering, purchasing, sharing and enjoying digital music in new, innovative and personalized ways,” says Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President, Mobile at Google.

The service is fully integrated with Google’s social network Google+, the company’s Android mobile and tablet operating system, and the online Android Market app store, making it easy and convenient to buy and share music with your friends.

“We automatically sync your entire music library -- both purchases and uploads -- across all your devices so you don't have to worry about cables, file transfers or running out of storage space," says Rubin.

“We also want to make it easy and seamless for you to grow your music collection. Today, we added a new music store in Android Market, fully integrated with Google Music.”

Google musicGoogle has teamed up with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, and the global independent rights agency Merlin plus independent labels including Merge Records, Warp Records, Matador Records, XL Recordings and Naxos to offer more than 13 million tracks within its Android Market.

When you buy a track from the Android Market it is synced across all your linked devices (including your PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone). If you share the song with your friends on Google+ they will be able to listen to the song in its entirety (but only once) -- a feature that is unique to Google Music.

Unfortunately there is no way to share songs in your Google Music library that you have purchased from other music stores such as iTunes or Amazon MP3.

Want to become a Google Music pro user? Technology blog Life Hacker provides a list of keyboard shortcuts that will have you skipping, playing and creating playlists in no time. Search Engine Land shows you step-by-step how to share your music with your friends on Google+ and ComputerWorld shows you how to get started on Google Music.

You can watch the full press conference announcing Google Music on the Android Developers channel on YouTube (skip forward to 0:29:30 for the start).

US-based consumers can download the Google Music Android app from the Android Market for free and can take a tour of the features available in Google Music by visiting http://music.google.com/about/. - AFP RELAXNEWS


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