Google Music Unveiled; to Compete with iTunes

Dennis Faas's picture

Google has unveiled the final version of its much-anticipated music download service, Google Music, instantly positioning itself to butt heads with Apple's iTunes, Spotify and Rdio.

Google Music will be fully integrated with the company's new social networking platform, Google+, allowing users to share music publicly or only with specific individuals. In addition, the new music service is available, with millions of songs, on the Android Market.

Google Music: Pricing Similar, Storage Cap Higher

Like iTunes, the price is about one buck per song, and between $8 and $12 for an album.

Of course, using the service itself costs nothing at all and allows users a 20,000 track capacity. Apple offers a similar deal through its iTunes in the Cloud service, but with a cap of 5GB -- nowhere near 20,000 songs.

At Amazon MP3, the deal is similar to that offered by Apple. Both services allow for greatly increased storage at a cost of $24.95 or $20 per year, respectively. (Source:

Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and Mog all offer free storage, but won't let users upload and store their own music.

Recommendations Made Based on Artists

Google Music is also designed to help users find new music. The system automatically analyzes your favorite artists and then makes recommendations. A staff of music critics offer reviews of new music and suggest which albums might be worth investigating.

A number of major music studios are on board with the new service, including EMI, Sony Music and Universal. Google says it has also received support from smaller labels, though users may miss the presence of Warner Music.

Smaller acts may also upload their own albums, biographical information, and images to the Android Market for $25. Artists will receive 70 per cent of all sales made through the new Google service. (Source:

Google Music: 13 Million Tracks to Start

All in all, Google Music will start with a catalogue of about 13 million tracks, and Google executive Zahavah Levine said more will be on the way soon.

Google has been working on its music download platform for some time now, offering a beta version in May. About one million American users accessed the test and apparently approved. According to Google, those testers used the platform an average of two-and-a-half hours each day.

Unfortunately, Google Music is currently only available to U.S.-based users.

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