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Tech Thursday – Google’s Music Locker Launches Without Record Labels

A month ago, I did a story about Amazon’s Cloud Player that lets you upload music from your music library on your computer so you can access it from any WiFI or 3G connection. Google has now started it’s cloud music service, and in Google fashion it’s in limted beta to start, but unlike Amazon, is launching without licensing permission from the labels.

Screenshot of Google's Music Beta/Rich Lawrence

In my previous story, I had mentioned how the original owners of MP3.com had the same view and were taken to court by Universal Music. According to a Reuters news report, Google was in negotiations with record labels but they were getting no where. Google doesn’t seem to be to worried about the same thing happening or is willing to fight this fight for the good cause. For the record, I support Google and their mantra of “Don’t be evil”.

But the service itself looks to be pretty nice. Users can upload up to 20,000 songs. This a rough calculation, but it seems to come out to 80GB, give or take based on an average of an MP3 song being 3-4 mins long and about 3-4MB in size. And you can of course sync it with Android devices like Droid phones and Honeycomb tablets. Plus manage playlists, shuffle them up and all the usual features. And, like Amazon’s service, it supports iTunes. I’m happy to see this as I do have a lot of iTunes content.

One thing that struck me when I read the Reuters article is, that it says it’s free for beta users for a limited time. So does that mean Google is going to charge us to upload music to the service? Or maybe, and this is speculation, Google will start selling music as well?

I have already submitted my request to be invited for a beta of the new service. If I get it, I’ll update you with more info. But for the time being, I’m waiting to see what happens with the labels.

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