Google Music, the online search giant’s cloud music streaming service, has begun internal testing, according to CNET, which is a fair indication that launch is soon imminent.
Negotiations with music labels are reportedly well under way, and is the major roadblock that has kept the service, a potential competitor to online services like iTunes, Qriocity and Spotify, from debuting already. Sources cite problems with users’ music libraries and downloadable songs being hosted on remote servers acting as on-demand digital jukeboxes, rather than being stored on one’s PC, as a potential licensing minefield that is presenting legal holdups.
Record industry executives, who’ve seen album sales steadily taper off, digital music sales flatline and portable music devices such as the Zune implode, are reputedly pulling for the service’s launch nonetheless. For a potential rival to iTunes, backed by one of the world’s largest and most powerful online brands who could instantly add clout, massive numbers of subscribers and unrivaled advertising reach, the upsides could be plentiful. From introducing millions of prospective fans to new artists to helping break Apple’s stranglehold over the digital music market, the service has high hopes to help rejuvenate the online music field.
As a recently discovered Android music app reveals, the future of high-tech entertainment could be the ability to download and enjoy music anytime, anywhere, on a variety of devices ranging from smartphones to tablet PCs.