After announcing Google Music Beta at Google I/O last May, Google has just announced they have dropped the beta tag for Google Music at the ‘These Go To Eleven’ event we posted about a few days ago. The service is now live with no invite necessary but still only for residents of the US.
Google Music will still offer the ability to store and stream 20,000 of your songs in the cloud and still for free but you can now purchase songs from the Android Market as well. Their initial library consists of 8 Million tracks but eventually they will have 13 Million Tracks available for purchase, the tracks will then appear in your music library and in your Music Manager. Every song you purchase is encoded as a 320kbps MP3 and they offer a 90 second preview for each song.
The New Google Music store, has a free track of the day but you can then purchase tracks from Universal, EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment and over 1,000 prominent independent labels. No sign of Warner music, but rumours are they could be signing shortly. You will be able to stream your collection from the cloud or cache for offline listening. There will be music exclusive to Google Music too including six never-before released concerts from the Rolling Stones.
Google are really plugging Google+ when you purchase a track you can +1 your purchase to your Google+ Profile and people viewing your stream can listen to a full replay of the song you just purchased, so if you purchase a whole album, they can listen to the whole album, for people not on Google+ you can email them and they can still get one full replay of the song
Google Music will also feature the Artist Hub a place where independent artists can basically setup a MySpace page on Google Music + sell their tracks. To do this they pay a one-off $25 fee -Essentially an Android Developer registration fee to be able to publish to the Android Market. They are then able to fully customise their artist page, upload all their original content, set preview length on their tracks and sell their songs at prices they set themselves. Google will be selling the music at a 70/30 rate so Google keeps 30% of the sale, basically what they do with Android Apps, no idea if this is what they are doing with the labels though, I imagine they’d have negotiated with them.
The changes integrating the new music components of the market will be coming to Android tablets and phone over next few days, the new Google Music Android App available now(US Only – Version 4.0.9 APK Mirror for residents outside US, thanks to Android Police). You`ll be able to view music through the web via market.android.com/music however I get the error ‘We’re sorry, the document you requested is not available in your country’, so US proxy for this one.
T-Mobile got talked up a fair bit; they will soon have the ability to pay for Music purchases directly through their phone bill, just like they can already for Android apps. They will also get exclusive music from Drake, Maroon 5, Busta Rhymes, and other artists to be announced later. Currently T-Mobile are saying that of their 4G device usage at the moment 15% is for Audio they fully expect this to increase with the Google Music release.
I love the product that Google have launched, sadly the service is still US Only, which continues a sad trend for most of the Google services they launch, however as you don’t require an invite simply installing a proxy application to spoof yourself as coming from a US IP Address should now work to get yourself signed up, as for purchasing, i`ll be checking out the market on the web via a US proxy to see if I can do just that.
UPDATE : Just tried out a couple of things with the proxy installed :
- You can just join a new gmail account to Google music with no invite.
- In the process of purchasing the free song of the day, Google Music asks you to update your default payment method : ‘In order to proceed, you will need to provide a default payment method from a supported billing country’. The location box on the popup only has US on it :
Source: Google Blog.