Hop into the wayback machine and join me at Google I/O 2010. It was day 2 of the conference and Vic Gundotra was playing the ghost of Android future and showing us the Android world that was yet to come. Vic described Google Music as we have it today. (Upload your music collection to the cloud and stream it from anywhere on your device). First, however, he showed us one feature that continues to elude Google today: simply purchasing a song via the Android Market.
Rumors of Google starting a music service of their own date back basically to the launch of the T-Mobile G1, when many speculated that their partnership with Amazon and its MP3 store was just a bandaid to get Google by until they could get a competing option up and running. Three years later and still nothing. Apparently it was a more herculean task than anyone could have expected.
Well, if the New York Times sources are correct, the wait may finally be drawing to a close. The Times is reporting that Google has ramped up talks with record labels in the hopes of launching their store “in the next several weeks.” These are the same talks that broke down earlier this year and caused Google to launch Music without the ability to purchase songs or have Music recognize the songs in your collection and simply make them available to you. (Rather, you’re forced to upload your entire library).
In July some unused resources found in the Android Market revealed that Google had been very much ready to incorporate these features.
So what’s changed? Perhaps Google is feeling the pressure with iTunes Match so close to launch and is more willing to deal this time around. Of course it’s also possible that the music industry doesn’t want to cede their fate to Apple completely.
How critical do you think a legitimate music service is for Android?
And speaking of Google Music, if you still need an invitation, just ask in the comments. I’ll give invites to 5 of you that have commented by noon tomorrow.
Update: Invitations were sent to the 5 winners. Congrats to boozelclark, steven smith, Tommy, Csaba and gsquared2e. If you didn’t get one of my invites you might want to take a pass through the comments as some of our other readers generously offered to hand out some invites their own.