updated 10:15 pm EDT, Wed October 26, 2011
Google Music store may give hundreds of free songs
Google may have given out its own clues that its own music store is imminent. Trying to visit music.google.com from an Android phone or tablet produces a splash page that, along with promoting the existing cloud storage service, it mentions the option to "shop millions of songs" that would be available directly from Android Market. Giveaways would play a significant role, as there would be "hundreds of free tracks," Google says.
While the link to download the Android app steers users over to the Music Beta app, the rest of the page appears to be in flux as of Wednesday evening. Links that were broken earlier now work, such as for a support page, or else have buried code indicating where they will go later.
Whether or not the store goes live this week as rumored, or at all, isn't clear. If so, it supports talk that Google may launch with a limited catalog. Apart from EMI and possibly Universal, most of the library could come from independents. Majors such as EMI typically don't give away large numbers of songs for free, and suggest that Google's angle may be discovering music from newcomers. Amazon, Apple, and others usually give away one song a week with occasional exceptions.
Google is believed by some to be offering a common store on the surface, with 99-cent songs as the average. Its standout feature, other than the expected Google Music Beta offer, would be a one-time free song listen when a track is shared through a Google+ circle.
As with the Movies portal on the Market, the music store is expected to be a direct analogue to iTunes to give Android users a ready-made content option similar to what that iOS already has. [via TechCrunch]