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back to article Google opens Android music store in iTunes' face

Google has opened up its beta Music service to all US computer users, and has plumped for free as the best model for music streaming. “The Google Music service will continue to be free,” Jamie Rosenberg, Google’s head of digital content for Android, said. “Other cloud music services think you have to pay to stream music you own …

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Facepalm

Ok lets see 800,000,000 songs, USA population 312,621,102 that is about 2.5 songs per person on average - may be this why the beta is only available to the US not enough songs for every one.

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Boffin

FYI....

I'm in the UK and have been using the google music service for the past 3 months.......

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Anonymous Coward

Because no two people listen to the same song?

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WTF?

I am honestly not sure if you're serious.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF!?!

Are you assuming that if I 'have' a song, then you can't 'have' it anymore?

Surely we can both have 800,000,000 songs???

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Anonymous Coward

You makes iKloud, I makes musik, ja!

No, I don't think this is an answering shot for "Apple's audacity in creating the icloud".

But it could be a better Zune.

Anyway, other than that:

Cool! When does it get worldwide? Is there DRM-free tracks?

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Silver badge
FAIL

I think you miss the point.

It DOES make iCloud look rather naff.

Why?

a) it's free (with free space for you to upload 20,000 of your own songs to stream anywhere)

b) it's got better paid-for artists onboard (all the major labels)

c) It's got better indie artist support (Artist pages, royalty-free publishing for wannabe artists)

d) It's got a far bigger audience 200m Android users for starters.

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Stop

a) iCloud is free

b) except Warner

c) hmmmm - myspace

d) iTunes is available to anyone with a computer

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Headmaster

d) iTunes is available to anyone with a computer

But is avoided like the plague by anyone with more than half a braincell.

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Thumb Up

I tend to agree

see title!

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry Nergatron, Barry Shitpeas the fandroid-in-chief has decreed it thus, and therefore so it is. No amount of rational discussion or reason will change this and woes-betide the criticiser of the Holy Chocolate Factory of Maintain View or any of their products for they are greatest and can do no wrong. Ever.

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Happy

Noted

Thanks AC. It's not as if I'm a fan boy of any kind, I just like a bit of balance

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Joke

d) iTunes is available to anyone with a computer

That is simply not true, I can't run iTunes on my VIC20 :-s

Rob

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Anonymous Coward

Will it be like the android market?

Will there be free tracks? I can image a band releasing lower quality audio free as samples - just like the old flexi singles you used to get on the front of magazines.

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Flexi singles!

bloody hell! hadn`t thought about them in years.

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old flexi singles

Oh, man, I think I still have my old Billy and the Boingers flexidisc somewhere in a box. Dagnabbit, now I need to dive into the attic again.

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Anonymous Coward

Dive into the attic?

Where I come from, we call it a basement.

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Attractive rates for performers

If Google is charging 30% commission, that is far below what traditional music publishers take and could be very attractive to many performers.

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Anonymous Coward

Not really. Especially if you're selling millions of songs there are better alternatives out there, talk to TuneCore or CDBaby.

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Google music is inferior to amazon mp3+cloud.

Googles android player blows, especially the ui...

Plus amazon offers unlimited music storage if you buy an album. Better player, better cloud, and the fire makes a nice ipod replacement.

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JDX
Gold badge

Streaming?

Is it proper streaming like iPlayer/4OD/Netflix, or does it let you download a local copy so each device is stream-once-play-many?

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dedupe

I wonder if they will de-duplicate the music storage. This would require only a tiny fraction of the storage especially as so many people will have the same must haves in their collection.

They can already identify a track from a sound sample so perhaps in the future you can play them a clip through your phone and they will link the song to your collection.

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Angel

Insightful

You sir, have probably hit exactly the nail on the head that allows the big G to offer this service for free.

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Silver badge

Unfortunately...

Unfortunately... listening to a few seconds of a track and identifying which one of (many) remixes or versions of it is not the same. I'd be slightly annoyed at uploading the extended remix dub version of Little Fluffy Clouds only to play it back and get the shortened (which in this case is under 5 minutes) version played back.

While de-dupe could be done, it will not be a pleasant prospect and will only work exceptionally well on content purchased through the embedded store.

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No FLAC, no deal.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

@stephen 1

So you want to stream FLAC over the internet? Probably to you mobile with a crappy dac inside? Have fun....

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Stop

Re:@ Petur @stephen 1

No your comment was fail..did the OP state to only to a phone..?

This will stream to your computer, laptop, through to your AV 5.1 surround system etc.

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Anonymous Coward

LOL at Google's attempt

Apple started with 5 labels, some more indies and that was 8 years ago.

Oh, I forgot the new feature is that any monkey with a guitar can sell their songs on this service. Hoppiedodidoo..

Can't wait to see how that turns out if it's anything like the Android Market... look for Coldplay get SlightlyColdplay, Couldplay, Cooldplay, Cuoldplay, Cuckoldplay... Plus lots of fart songs.

Excellent idea! 5 *****

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Any of the alternatives would be better than Coldplay....

.... including the fart songs.

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Bronze badge
Go

The most interesting part

Is the bit about artists selling directly, this seems like it could be very disruptive to the established industry. I can see Apple adding this if they can do so without the labels cutting them off, and google adding a match service, because uploading hundreds of gigabytes of data just isn't funny over consumer broadband.

We're getting a little closer to a flat rate all you can eat service with every new music store that launches, which is nice.

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Anonymous Coward

already available

There is something like that for itunes: http://t.co/Q27A7Lfq

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Anonymous Coward

Lessons not learned

After all this time and they still have not leaned anything from the now defunct Allofmp3.com or the current crop of Russian and Ukrainian low cost music sites. Sure, you will get some of the Itunes crowd, yet you are missing out on a big market. Why pay .99 cents a song when one can go to these unsanctioned sites and get songs for .10 cents. Heck, on one site, you can get the latest Rihanna CD, Talk that Talk, for .88 cents. A whole CD for less than the cost of one song at Itunes or Google.

Bandwidth, servers and infrastructure cost a lot of money. These sites must be making good profits even at these low prices or they would not be staying in business.

In addition to the low cost, most songs these days are at least 192kbs, with more and more being 320kbs, and all DRM free. Can Itunes and Google make the same claims?

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Anonymous Coward

Anti-trust alarms triggered

How long does Google think it can act as an advertiser (and the primary portal to services through the web for most people) and a competitor to supply those same services? This is a serious conflict of interest. Would you trust a competitor to be the primary link to new customers? Google has to decide which business it wants to be in, or it will inevitably be forced to do so.

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Silver badge
Joke

30 percent commission?

Who do these guys think they are, Apple?

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Unhappy

"one of the shrinking minority with unlimited data plans"

Oh, sorry, forgot you are writing from the USA

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cool

nice, the more competitors the better! yepp, they sell mp3's so it's DRM-free.

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Pint

In case some people haven't yet noticed...

The Worldwide International Music (artificial) Shortage is over. Music has officially become a ubiqitous commodity, much like atmospheric nitrogen.

You can all stop hoarding now...

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Silver badge

.... think you have to pay to stream music you own - we don’t.”

...until we have plenty of people hooked into it, dependant on it, then we'll slowly get you paying. Only when it's out of Beta of course.

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We're sorry, the document you requested is not available in your country.

I'm in the UK

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Bronze badge
Pint

I joined up and am awaiting approval so that I can prepare to sell the tunes from my upcoming EP. For unsigned indie musicians, this could work quite well. Myspace abandoned us for the big four. It's not easy to get into iTunes. This gives us a way to sell music to the large number of Android handset users and if Android Tablets ever gain traction, will be selling to them as well.

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Slx

Mobile data?

The only problem is that the majority of "unlimited" data plans are actually subject to acceptable usage policies and the vast majority of mobile users world-wide still do not have anything like unlimited bandwidth.

Data plans will often provide enough capacity to give you unlimited browsing of the web, email, app downloads, etc or reasonably huge limits that you are unlikely to reach. However, when you add streaming media to this, you can very quickly run up quite a large data balance!

If it's streaming everything off a server, it's not going to be very popular with the mobile networks as it will create havoc on their infrastructure and it could end up costing some end users an absolute fortune in data charges if they go beyond their 'unlimited' plans.

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I don't get it

What a hopelessly inefficient way of playing music on your mobile! Instead of using a few Watt/hours of energy for playing a track straight from your memory card, you're going to use countless servers, disks, routers and transmitters to listen to the same track, but with a few pauses for buffering.

Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should be. What point am I missing?

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Anonymous Coward

You can select what you want to cache offline.

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So I upload and then download my music library instead of transferring via USB. Super!

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Bronze badge

Google has opened up its beta Music service to all US*click*...

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JDX
Gold badge

re:No FLAC, no deal.

Yes, you definitely need lossless compression for listening to music on your phone on the train through £10 ear-phones.

I bet he doesn't even know what it is, just heard other pretentious people talking about it and thought he'd jump on the bandwagon.

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Anonymous Coward

You can stream...

But you can also choose to cache offline, similar to Spotify.

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Just thought of something

Is it me, or is Google becoming a 'me, too' company like MicroSoft? They see something successful out there -- facebook, itunes, etc -- and come out with their own version that seems rather me-too-ish. I might be wrong, there may be B2B things they're doing that are mind-blowing, but the consumer-facing ones seem a bit ... derived, for lack of a better term.

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To me this a logical addition to the Cloud services that are Google's other products. If anything, putting your tunes in the cloud was a pre-emptive copycat strike by Apple. Calling that iCloud was the polish on the turd.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple will soon

sue Google because everyone knows Apple invented music.

Then Microsoft will then sue Apple because everyone knows Microsoft invented suing.

God - it is a great time to be a lawyer..

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