Google Music Service: Amazon Cloud With Fewer Features?

When Amazon launched its online music service, Cloud Player, some wondered, “What about Google or Apple?” Now, at least one of them seems ready to with an answer.

The Wall Street Journal says Google is set to announce a digital music service that allows any one to store music files with the online search giant and then stream it to other Net-connected devices such as smart phone. According to undisclosed sources in the story, Google hasn’t signed any agreements major music companies for the service. And unlike Amazon’s service, users won’t be able to download music once it’s uploaded to Google’s cloud.

Why the smaller feature set? The WSJ explains:

The system Google is likely to unveil is known within the technology and music industries as a “passive” locker. Such systems generally are believed by people in the music industry not to require licenses from record companies. But that kind of system also tends to offer a fairly limited set of features.

A Google spokeswoman confirmed to ComputerWorld that the company does plan to announce a “Music Beta” feature at the opening day of Google I/O, a software developers conference that starts in San Francisco today. But no further details were given.

While analysts say today’s announcement ends months of speculation over Google’s move into online music, the important question remains: What’s Apple’s move?

Google to Unveil Online Music Service [Wall St. Journal]
Google to unveil online music service Tuesday