Thursday, November 17, 2011

Google Music

After a summer of beta testing and months of rumors, Google officially launched its long-rumored Google Music service on Wednesday in an attempt to compete with the undisputed champion of digital downloading, Apple's iTunes.

The initial reaction from Silicon Valley tech writers was that the service was, well, pretty similar to iTunes, but, you know, not as great. Google's bid to break Apple's decade-long supremacy in the digital music realm allows users to store up to 20,000 songs in their personal locker on the Google cloud service. That is similar to what Apple's Match cloud server offers its users, except, according to one Google exec, his company won't be charging an annual fee to allow users to listen to their own music on the cloud. (Apple's Match charges a $25 annual fee for storage.)

So far, Google has signed up three of the four major record labels -- Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI -- but has not yet reached a deal with the Warner Music Group, which has a 20-percent share of the U.S. market. Among the Warner acts you won't find on Google Music are Wiz Khalifa, Nickelback, Frank Sinatra, Green Day, Gucci Mane and Mastodon.

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