Google officially lifted the lid on its new music service yesterday, as it looks to challenge iDevices in the one facet where they categorically lead the field.
Check out Google Music Beta in action in the clip below
Dubbed Music Beta, the cloud based music locker-cum-streaming service enables users to upload up to 20,000 songs from their computer to the web, which they can listen to on their Android phone or tablet or other compatible devices. Music can be imported from iTunes or from Windows Media Player library.
As was widely expected, however, it currently does not offer downloads, after the search giant was unable to seal a deal with major music labels which were reportedly “demanding a set of business terms that were unreasonable”.
Also missing is an iTunes-style Ping feature to enable Fandroids to share music recommendations with their chums.
That said, for what it is, Music Beta compares well with its nearest rival in terms of functionality, the Amazon Cloud Player. This also launched sans the support of the majors, but only offers the option to store 1,000 songs.
Currently, the service is solely available in the US and is operating on an invitation-only basis. While it’s in beta it is completely free to use.
Google unveiled Music Beta at yesterday’s Google I/O developers event, which also saw it disclose plans to push out the next major smartphone Android OS update, version 2.4, AKA Ice Cream Sandwich, during the fourth quarter and outline plans to tackle ongoing problems with platform fragmentation.