Android owning music lovers who once shook their fists at their Apple carrying buds can now enjoy their very own downloadable track library with the launch of Google Music – now available in the United States.
Yes – That’s a drop of the pops for us in the UK who were eager to get our ears around the latest MP3 tunes and exclusives from recording artists such as Pearl Jam, Rolling Stones, Busta Rhymes, Shakira and Coldplay on our Google smartphones and tablets. The reason for this is that Google is yet to come to agreements for worldwide distribution rights to songs hosted on the new service. But hopefully this will be sorted in short time.
Another low tone for the launch of Google Music is that the internet giant was unable to snag Warner into a deal before the big release – however, the other big 3 – Universal, Sony, and EMI, as well as thousands of independent labels are onboard so there will be no shortage of quality tunage with 13-million songs said to be listed. This just means that fans of acts such as Green Day, Michael Buble and Huey Lewis and the News will have to wait just a little longer – unless they have access to iTunes where Warner is signed into a deal.
Tracks are available to download in full as 320Kbps MP3 files, with songs ranging in price from 69c to $1.29 – which actually competes with Apple’s iTunes. The service will require a credit card sign-up, but T-Mobile is onboard to handle payments for its own customers and payments for songs will be added to their monthly bill.
Google also wants to make the service into a platform for individual artists to get their brand across and eventually plans to make the service fully customizable. The launch blog states that “any artist who has all the necessary rights can distribute his or her own music on our platform, and use the artist hub interface to build an artist page, upload original tracks, set prices and sell content directly to fans – essentially becoming the manager of their own far-reaching music store.”
Mike McGuire, an analyst in industry research says of the new Google Music: “It’s a launch, but it’s kind of like a work-in-progress.” He also suggests that Google’s foray into the online music market will do little to raise the company’s revenue, but it will keep the world’s most used mobile operating system Android running with the pack as the G joins leading competitors such as Spotify and recently web-based music provider Amazon.
We’re a little bit disappointed that after all the Spinal Tap references in the press invite earlier this week, that the mockumentary metal band didn’t make a comeback for the much-anticipated launch.
Google Music is now available to lucky Stateside track-hounds on gadgets packing Android 2.2 and above that means smartphones such as the Google Nexus One up to Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC Sensation and Sensation XL with Beats and also tablets like the Motorola Xoom.
As expected Google are offering a ‘Free Song of The Day’ incentive to get you started and we expect Google Music to integrate with Google+ sometime very soon, as an archrival to the Spotify/Facebook team-up.