updated 08:50 pm EDT, Thu October 13, 2011
Google presses for music store again
Google's abortive attempt at a music store has been renewed, label executives outlined in a leak Thursday. It would embody the same basic concept, but it would be a "more extensive service," the NY Times said. In ideal conditions, it would go live within several weeks.
It would invariably be linked to Google Music Beta, its still in testing music locker. Buyers would presumably get automatic streaming access, akin to Amazon Cloud Drive or part of iTunes Match, instead of having to upload the tracks themselves.
The search firm might not be any closer to a deal, however. Labels were already convinced the locker would be a host for illegally obtained music, and they didn't believe Google had changed enough to make a difference. "We want to make sure the locker doesn't become a bastion of piracy," a source said.
Google had dropped clues that it wanted a music store as far back as May 2010, when users noticed a Music section in an Android Market demo. Its unwillingness to make extra label payments for cloud access, among other possible demands, is thought to have kept it at a permanent impasse. The policy effectively conceded a race with Apple, which broadly launched iTunes in the Cloud this week and is due to start iTunes Match by the end of October.
Whatever the plans, Google is expected to have a redesigned Google Music app for Android with Pandora-style ratings and a streamlined interface.