Google Music will be free while in beta.
Following shortly after the announcement of Amazon's Cloud Player
last month, Google has now announced its own cloud based music storage service, imaginatively dubbed Google Music, at its Google IO conference.
The service will allow users to upload up to 20,000 MP3s (limiting your capacity to individual files, rather than a specific number of gigabytes), which can then be accessed from any variety of Android devices.
Technically, it's similar to Amazon's Cloud player service, although without the integrated music store. We'd be surprised if this wasn't added at some point soon, but licensing agreements with music labels are notoriously difficult to tie down.
However, one advantage promised by Google's service is the use of smart playlist tools. Using Google's content analysis tech, you can create an entire playlist from just one song, with the rest of the list populated by similar tracks based on more than just artist or genre.
The Google Music beta will only run in the US at first (again, licensing issues), and will be free in its beta form. There are certainly indications that this will be a paid-for service at some point though, with Google also showing off Project Tungsten; a hub-like device that streams music from the Cloud in the same way that devices such as Logitech's Squeezebox or Sono's music streamers do around the home.
Are you excited about Google Music? Or, like us, are you disappointed that the Americans get to play with it and we don't? There are no oceans on the Internet
, after all. Let us know in the forums