Despite a failure to cut deals with the major labels, Google Music is set to launch in beta today at the Google I/O 2011 Developer Conference. Initially at least, the service will function as a cloud music locker and without a download store or a paid streaming service. But Google Music will offer some features that Amazon's cloud locker does not.
Google's free music locker will include 50GB of space, enough to to store 20,000 songs. Amazon currently gives 5G of free space plus a variety of paid upgrades. Another Google feature will automatically create playlists for users. Beta invites will be handed out at the I/O conference today and a full US roll-out should happen within a couple of weeks.
Why no downloads or streaming? “Unfortunately, a couple of the major labels were less focused on the innovative vision that we put forward, and more interested in in an unreasonable and unsustainable set of business terms,” Jamie Rosenberg, who oversees digital content and strategy for Google’s Android platform, told AllThingsDigital. What's next? “I think we’re honestly going to learn from the beta experience, and think about opportunities for the long-term model,” he said.
Expect Apple to launch a similar service tied to iTunes within weeks.