16
Nov
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Update: The Music section of the Market is now live! (Link). Access to Music in the Android Market (on-device) will be rolling out over the next few days on the server side (there is no new version of the Market to get the Music section). A new version of the Music app is out as well, check it out here.

Update 2: Here's the full video of the Google Music event held in Los Angeles today (if the embedded timecode doesn't work, skip to 29m30s for the start of the event):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLPFI5YsIks&t=29m30s

whatever

Just minutes ago, Google announced the launch of the long-awaited Google Music storefront. What's Google Music offering?

  • MP3 Store: Available on the Android Market as a new category starting today. The tracks are stored in the cloud as 320Kbps MP3 files - no DRM. You also get 90 second song previews. Requires Android 2.2+. Universal, EMI, and Sony are all on board (Warner Music Group is not), along with many smaller independent labels. 8 million paid tracks are live at launch, but the number will soon be 13 million.
  • Free Cloud Storage: The original 20,000 song cap that was part of the Google Music beta will remain in place, and it will remain free. It does not appear this storage is expandable at present, but this wasn't really discussed.
  • Song Sharing / Recommendation: You can share a song or album with your friends once you've purchased it via Google+ only. They'll receive one free listen of the song or album you just purchased. Your G+ friends will see any songs you've purchased then recommended in the Market as part of your Friend Stream, where the full song or album will play back once for any of your friends.
  • Exclusive Tracks: Google Music will offer some tracks exclusively (like live tracks from The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Shakira, and Dave Matthews Band). Busta Rhymes will be debuting his new album on Google Music.
  • Free Song of the Day: Pretty self-explanatory, like Amazon's Free App of the Day, but with songs.
  • Artist Hub: Allows self-producing artists to submit their tracks to Google Music (link here). You can create an artist page, upload music, and set your own retail prices. $25 to create your own artist page. Google's cut is 30% - flat rate.
  • T-Mobile Carrier Billing: This one is self-explanatory. T-Mobile customers will also get some exclusive free tracks.
  • US Only: Google has only signed distribution deals with major labels for the US market. There was no mention of any future availability of the service outside the United States.

Here's a terrible screenshot of the Google Music store in the Market on Android (it's all we have presently), as well as the sharing feature:

upload (1) share

And here's a video discussing Artist Hub, as well (here's a link to the Artist Hub):

We'll update as we learn more.

YouTube Google Music Event Livestream

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • jug

    Why no lossless audio codec?! There is no alternative to buying CDs …

    • Devin

      320 kbps...... Come on. You can't tell the difference.

      • http://www.pretentiousname.com Leo Davidson

        If I have a lossless copy, I can transcode it into whatever bitrate I want for various devices. 320 kbps might be great for some things, but sometimes a lower bitrate is also nice for things with less storage.

        Converting something that's already lossy into a lower bitrate makes the errors multiply. Maybe it'll still sound fine even then, but it's not something I am willing to pay for. Lossless isn't that much larger than 320kbps and there is no reason at all not to offer it.

        And, at the end of the day, shouldn't quality improve, or at least stay the same, as technology advances? CDs are technology from the 70s/80s; we shouldn't be accepting music for sale that is *worse* than the ancient CD quality, IMO.

        But more important than whether or not it is lossless: Can this service do gapless playback? i.e. Can it actually serve me up an album of music without adding pauses between each track? (Another way a lot of digital music players, with a few exceptions, are a step back from ancient CD players.)

        Google's old music player for Android couldn't do gapless, and it wasn't until the more recent versions of PowerAmp that anything on Android did gapless properly.

  • Brian

    The features are pretty sweet! Can't wait for it to be in the Market app!!!

  • Aghnaar

    And meanwhile, in the rest of the world, still not available (france reporting)

  • http://iandouglas.com Ian Douglas

    Personally, I'd pay a few bucks/month to have more than 20000 songs. My library is full, and there's no mention whether purchases (like at Amazon) count towards your quota or not.

  • Xplodwild

    Only in US unfortunately...
    France is waiting, Google !

  • Vicky

    Google's cut from the Artist Hub is pretty huge? Don't think many unsigned artists will be able to afford it, which is a shame.

    • Freak4Dell

      It's probably one of the most affordable models out there. You pay a $25 one time fee to get a hub, then you don't pay anything. If a song you uploaded cells, they'll send you 70% of the profits. At $1 a piece, you'd have your initial investment back in 36 downloads.
      I don't know the exact details of what the split is for iTunes, but their requirements are tougher than Google's. If you don't have 20 albums, you have to use an aggregator, who takes an additional cut on top of what iTunes takes plus higher set up fees, leaving you with approximately 60 cents or so per song and more required downloads to break even. That's not a horrible deal, but it's 10 cents less than what Google would give you.

  • SarcasticOne

    awesome, once again, US only...
    thanks google (from australia...)

  • UKAndroid

    Europe is waiting ....... when does the "global" that the EMI guy mentioned in his speech at the launch happen?

  • Me

    And yet again (Google Voice), the other 95.54% of the globe is neglected.

    (UK)

  • MeHappy

    Why does the "Free Song of the Day" require a payment method?

    • David Ruddock

      Same reason Amazon's free app of the day does - to report sales.

      • bestandroid

        to block non us :(
        please support France

  • lettcco

    where is my goddamn galaxy nexus for tmobile ?!?

    • Kevin

      You noticed ICS running on there as well huh?

  • ocdtrekkie

    Hey AndroidPolice, they mentioned that uploads will be faster provided your copy matches their master copy, since it'll just use that... but can you find out if our previously uploaded music plays off Google's master copies, or whatever crud we already had uploaded?

    • David Ruddock

      None of us recall hearing that. When the video is available, maybe point us to where they said that.

      • Ocdtrekkie

        Engadget said that I think. I'm not yet in a spot I can watch the stream myself. I From Engadget: " And for those with an aversion to waiting, which should be all of you, uploads can now be nixed entirely, provided tracks in your possession jive with Google's master copies."

        Those master copies are 320 kbps, are they not?

        • ocdtrekkie

          Okay, well, let's go with Engadget is probably inventing facts. The stream never mentioned uploads being nixed if they match master copies. And I got this from Google:

          "Only purchased music from the Android Market will be in 320 kbps. The
          music you upload from your computer will still be in the format you
          originally had it in.

          Regards,

          Allison S.
          The Music Beta Team"

  • RamaLaTep

    This seems awesome, the only problem i have though is that it might eat up my data quota. Fuck AT&T and their 2GB a month limit

  • Denny

    lol, this is so weird. i thought nexus prime was coming to tmobile.

  • Steve

    Is it possible to burn a CD from purchased music?