At its I/O developer's conference in San Francisco, Google unveiled a new music storage service called Music Beta by Google.
The service will allow users to upload their music collections, up to 20,000 songs at launch, to the cloud so they can stream to their computer and Android devices. With this service, users will be able to automatically sync whatever music or playlist they upload to whatever device they want automatically. Thus if they download a new playlist on their Android phone, it will automatically be downloaded to their computer and tablet.
Similar to iTunes, the Music Beta interface comes complete with ratings, play counts, playlists, etc. It also comes with a feature called Instant Mix, which is similar to iTunes Genius. Google says it is even smarter than other smart playlist creation tools because it actually listens to people's songs.
Google's new music storage service is currently in beta mode, with invitations only in the U.S. As for price, Google said, it is free while in beta mode, but did not indicate if it was going to be free or subscription based after that. To request an invitation users have to go to http://music.google.com/about/ or have attended the I/O conference or own a Motorola Xoom.
Google's service is similar to the one offered by Amazon Inc. The company launched a music storage locker in March of this year, where anyone with an Amazon account can get five gigabytes of free storage. Like Google's, it can also sync to multiple devices. Apple Inc. is also rumored to be introducing a digital music locker in the near future.
On top of the music announcement, Google also said users be able to rent movies from the Android market as part of Android 3.1. Users will be able to rent a movie, start it any time in 30 days and once they start, they have 24 hours to finish. Movies will cost $3.99.
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