When Google announced Google Music back in May, there was a huge feature missing from the service: the ability to buy songs from inside Google Music. The main reason Google wasn’t able to add this was due to licensing deals. Basically, the company couldn’t reach a deal with music labels, so it decided to launch the service anyway without song purchasing abilities.
There are other features missing from Google Music, as well. One of those is song recognition. This would let Google Music recognize the songs you have on your computer and put them in your Google Music library without actually uploading the files. Both song recognition and song purchasing require a licensing deal with music companies, and it looks like Google has managed to get them at last.
What you see below is a screenshot of the new Market app’s resources. As you can see, these are most of the graphics the app uses to draw buttons at runtime. Hidden among the sea of buttons are a handful of graphics that don’t quite fit in. And they are the Music buttons.
These colored shopping bag icons are used in the Android Market to distinguish between different sections inside the app. The Movies sections has a red shopping bag, the app section has a green one, the Books section is blue, and it looks like the music section will have an orange shopping bag. Fun fact: that orange color is the same one used on the Google Music website.
What does this mean? Well, it could mean one of two things. First theory, Google already came to an agreement with music companies and it’s now working on adding these features. If this is the case, we could see Google make an announcement any moment now. The second explanation could be that Google hasn’t reached an agreement yet, but is getting ready to add the features the second they sign the deals. In this scenario, there’s no way to know when the company will be able to add these features. It could be this week, next month or next year.
Either way, we’re surely getting closer to the day when we’ll be able to buy songs or sign up for a subscription with Google Music. Coincidentally, this week we saw the emergence of yet another music service. After bringing years of enjoyment to our European brothers, Spotify is now available here in the US. Does Spotify’s ability to finally come to the US means music labels are being more open-minded about music streaming services? Who knows? But if I were a betting man, I’d say Google is about to make some pretty big announcements about Google Music.