According to the Wall Street Journal, Google will finally announce Google Music at the company’s developer conference tomorrow. Even though, the company hasn’t been able to strike deals with record companies, they have decided to go ahead and launch the product nonetheless.
Initially, the service will be available for beta testers and not the general public. It will supposedly work like a remote hard drive, where people can store their songs. Users will then be able to listen to the songs, but not download them. This is due to the fact that they haven’t signed any deals with record labels yet, and they could very well take Google to court for allowing people to download songs.
This kind of service is known as a “passive” locker, and doesn’t require licenses from record companies. Google could very well add more features in the future, once it strikes deals with copyright holders. We’ll take what we can, better this than nothing. Now Google, let’s just get this over with and announce this thing already.
UPDATE: Things are happening fast, people. Peter Kafta of AllThingsD has shed a little more light on how Google Music will work. The service will apparently automatically create playlists based on your interests. Google will also allow users to upload up to 20,000 songs — which is roughly 50GB worth of songs. Google expects the service to launch for the general public in the weeks following the beta release — that’s very good news.
Jamie Rosenberg, who’s in charge of digital content and strategy for Google’s Android platform, explained why the company has decided to go ahead and launch Google Music without record labels’ consent:
Unfortunately, a couple of the major labels were less focused on the innovative vision that we put forward, and more interested in an unreasonable and unsustainable set of business terms.Jamie RosenbergGoogle Android
Bravo, Google, bravo.