May 09 AT 9:01 PM Alberto Vildosola 30 Comments

Google Music to be announced tomorrow, without record labels’ approval (UPDATED)

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.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • Galen20K

    GOOD! release it without the ridiculous restrictions the industry tries to impose on “our” legally bought music.

  • Mighty_O

    GOOD! release it without the ridiculous restrictions the industry tries to impose on “our” legally bought music.

  • http://Website david williams

    If they give me more space than what amazon gives me(20 GB) i may switch. Amazon cloud player works very well. Can’t wait to see how it compares to Amazon’s player.

    • http://Website mike

      agreed, amazon web player is very very good

    • Alberto Vildosola

      According to AllThingsD, Google will give us 50GB or 20,000 songs for free.

      • Edgar Cervantes

        Ouch! That is nice! Regardless, even if the storage capacity was the same, I might still choose Google over Amazon. Though the Amazon mp3 player is good, the upload process is too slow. Also, I assume Google Music would be much more integrated to the Android platform. I would like to see a system in which the songs are just added to your regular player, kinda like picasa images show up in the stock gallery app.

  • Lemon

    It’s bizzarre to me how record labels seem intent on stopping people listening to any and all music.

  • http://Website Richard Yarrell

    I have to agree with google on this one never allow someone else to prevent your forward progress. This will be helpful for all of us.

  • http://Website JayMonster

    A couple of major labels… Read: Sony and Warner. These clowns wouldn’t understand innovation if it smacked them in the head.

  • http://Website medwa

    So how does one become a part of the beta group?

  • http://Website Mark

    Record companies are just full of greed. I know every corporation is out to make money but damn, they want to keep making money off something that has been sold to you and is now your own property.


    • http://Website JaylanPHNX

      While I agree with you almost completely, I will play a little bit of devil’s advocate. The record labels would likely be much less freaked out by this sort of thing if it weren’t for the thousands (millions?) of people who download whole libraries of music they didn’t pay a dime for. Knee-jerking reactionaries+bad apples=screwed general public.

    • http://Website Dirk

      Yeah… Google is so not greedy. They do no evil at all. The perfectly benign and benevolent corporation, if I do say so myself.

    • http://Website Dirk

      Well, before you blow a gasket. the “record company deals” involve buying content from the music service, like iTunes has done very well. So Google’s “music service” is just a bunch of servers to store your music. Nothing really impressive at all. Seems about 5 years behind the times, and it’s what others have done better. Amazon does it better. Their cloud computing offerings are also better than Google’s. The Google strategy has always been to come up with something that has already been done before (search, maps, smart phones). Sometimes they make it better. Sometimes it’s just different or derivative and they try to make it appear to be better (um, Android).

  • http://Website david williams

    If googles music is faster at uploading songs I may move over. Uploading to Amazon is slow. I have 4 Mbps up at the house and it never gets remotely close.

  • http://Website slbailey1

    If one of Googles music format is WMA, I will be using Google’s music service to store all my music. I will still purchase my music from Amazon; but I will down load it to my PC and upload it to Google.

    • http://Website Dave

      WMA is patent encumbered so doubtful Google would choose it.

      • http://Website slbailey1

        That’s not good!! I have 100s of CD on my computer in WA that I need to backup somewhere. Some of the CDs, i’ve accidently broke so I can’t re-rip if something happens to my computer.

        • http://Website Shawn

          a great program for converting music is dbpoweramp its really easy to use, and cheap. I use it ALL the time! Just thought you might find it useful

        • Jes

          This may not be the answer you’re looking for, but a good solution to your problem might be Subsonic. I’ve been using Subsonic for over two years now and I obviously I think it’s great if I’m promoting it. And I haven’t come across a format yet that it won’t stream, so you’re fine with WMAs. Might be a problem for you though since it requires your home PC (i.e. the music server) to be powered on and connected to the internet at all times in order to do the streaming. Not everyone is keen on that part…

          Anyway, give it a look if your interest is piqued.

      • http://Website JaylanPHNX

        I too have a large portion of my collection in WMA rips, and while it would be doubtful they’d choose WMA as a primary or core format, there’s no reason in the world why they couldn’t support it for uploading and playback.

  • http://Website n own

    Weeks? Oh … Google weeks. So it will be out x-mass?

  • http://Website Rohan

    I just hope it works outside USA also..
    (take a hint amazon.. you guys suck!)

    • keridel

      Couodnt agree more. The uk has more android phones per person than even the us yet we get none of the new innovations. Depressing.

      I would love to see the music come to us and the books. Got me a a brand new xoom and was looking forward to reading books on the awesome reader. But no US only. Grr

  • http://Website Silgrond

    I don’t care if it doesn’t stream music me for while, but we get the apk today/tomorrow during I/O, right?

  • Android Applications Development

    Wow its really great as Google provides more space for uploading which is upto 50GB .
    Amazon gives 20GB and its very slow to upload. Hopefully it releases soon to the general public.

  • Eric Weiss

    Am I the only one that thinks that a limited release is the wrong way to go about it? Amazon was able to surprise everyone by offering their service to everyone without announcement and look at all the press. Surely Google has the ability to open it up to everyone right away. Why drag their feet? It doesn’t make sense. Slow roll-outs kill you in the press. It’s just not news that a few people are using a service and then when everyone else gets it, it’s old news. Bad marketing.

    • PixelSlave

      Sorry for this Apple related comment, but I really hope that Apple would do similar things to their cloud based service and launch it without the labels approval — no, I am not an iOS users, but I think EVERYONE deserves the right to stream their OWN music. If I bought a song for myself, I have the right to play it on my devices. Amazon did that, now Google does it, and Apple should do the same. No one should pay a “tax” to the label to play what they own.