Google released Google Music which is a cloud-based locker for up-to 20,000 songs with a web-based media player. Google is now interested in creating an online music store of its own to compete with the likes of iTunes and Amazon MP3.
By creating an online music store, Google will be able to better compete with Apple by providing similar services with better integration into their own products. According to a report by Wall Street Journal, the store could launch within two weeks. The report came out this morning and claims ‘unofficial sources’ which point to a possible release of this week. It appears that Google is having a hard time getting the major labels to join in and it seems that mostly independent labels are on board. This could change the potential timeline for the release of the music store. Major record labels Sony and Warner are concerned about piracy in the storage locker as there is no way to distinguish between paid and unpaid music files.
Personally I can understand the concerns of the record labels. Google wants to integrate the player with services like Google+ so you can share what you are listening to, but currently Google is not checking any of the music that is going into the online storage locker. This may be an early attempt to compete with the upcoming iTunes Match service that Apple will provide to the general public. Unless Google does some major overhauling on how Google Music is currently being offered, I see them failing, again, to compete with Apple. I know I may sound harsh, but I use Google Music on my HTC Sensation almost everyday. I stream my library and playlists through my Bluetooth audio in my car. So, I am not trying to come across as anti-Google, but merely pointing out the truth. Google is trying to do too much right now without refining the the end user experience.
There is always the debate when a new iPhone comes out that ‘Android phones have been doing this for [insert amount of time here]‘. This may be true, but how well does it work? Although Apple is "behind the times" but their products work flawlessly for what they provide. I recently found out that my Google Music application on my computer was dependent on my iTunes. When I updated to iTunes 10.5 it removed my playlists. Then I noticed in my Google Music online player that my playlists were gone as well. My music was still there but no playlists, same as iTunes. I realize that Google Music uses iTunes to find music file locations and import playlists but it should not use iTunes to dictate what I want removed from Google Music.
Until Google begins fixing issues like the ones I mentioned, it will always be a step behind Apple.