Android Central

So we didn't see any updates to Google Music this week like so many of us had hoped there would be. But Andy Rubin has said that Google is "close" to being able to offer a bona fide MP3 store. 

Speaking at the AsiaD conference, he recognised the lack of such content as a key "missing ingredient" in the attempts to lure people away from the Apple and iTunes ecosystem. He also said that Google would not be following "the 99-cent model" but that their pricing would "have a little twist - it will have a little Google in it." Let's hope for some subscriptions, eh?

Not much detail to go on, but it looks as though Google could be about to turn a corner. They're said to have inked a deal with EMI, with negotiations continuing with Universal, Sony Music and Warner Music. 

Source: The Guardian

 
There are 37 comments

j.bergthold says:

I can't wait for Google to offer MP3s. I never buy new music, because I refuse to use ITunes, and prefer to do everything Google. When I actually want to purchase music, I currently go to Best Buy and buy one of those outdated items called a "CD". I know that should be a good scare for everyone leading into Halloween.

j.bergthold says:

Which should sound sweet on a Galaxy Nexus. Oh the anticipation.

icebike says:

I buy most of my music from Amazon, and download directly into my Google Music directory. It backgrounds it up to the Google Music Cloud and its on all my devices. Google Music FTW.

You can buy new music without using itunes. Lots of places have online music stores these days.

Rigelian says:

That's exactly how I have my music downloads set up. It is pretty much a perfect combination. As a result, I haven't been pining for a Google Music store, however, I'm likely to take advantage of it if the price is right.

orlanka says:

What exactly is a 'CD', I've heard my parents talk about them before?

icebike says:

Its a Certificate of Deposit, get them at banks.

If you have 20 thousand in cash, you buy a CD.

Then when you want to LEGITIMATELY fill up your Google Music storage (about 21 thousand songs), you cash in the CD, and spend all the money at Amazon or iTunes or soon with Google.

However the vast majority of people who brag about having filled their GM quota just steal the music from their roommate's collection, thereby avoiding going to the bank.

orlanka says:

Does your roommate read this site too? This could result in both of you getting a new roommate.

deadbass72 says:

I'm the same way! I made a vow in 2009 to NEVER use an apple product, be it software like itunes or hardware like ipod. So far so good =D google music made it so much easier to stay as far away from apple as humanly possible.

Lee_R3D says:

And down goes the Empire.

CaptainYoshi says:

I hope by "little twist" they don't mean,"lets throw ads in somewhere"

Pengwn says:

It's most likely DRM free.
Just basing that off google's open source tendencies.

icebike says:

Looking at how Google earns most of their revenue, I suspect the music shopping will not be STRICTLY a Google store, but will ALSO allow other vendors to sell thru, and advertise in the store.

Wicket says:

I think the twist is the temp share with friends feature

EvilMonkey says:

I'm curious what they're coming out with. However, I haven't bought any music for probably 5 years now. With things like Pandora and Slacker and now Spotify, I don't know that I ever will actually purchase music.

Still, looking forward to what Google has up its sleeve.

ScottJ says:

Those of us with dates like to impress them with a personalized mix CD which is not possible with the streaming services.

jjenson says:

Actually with Spotify you can create your own personalized mixed streaming station.

I think this is the way music is heading anyways.

EvilMonkey says:

Mix tapes/CDs? You kids still do that? Seriously? I'm sure the girls are really impressed. Sorry, I just assumed that had died out since CD's don't fit in iPods :)

romma says:

Uniform docking stations with music and video players would be nice too, but this would be huge!I would actually spend some time reinstalling a lot of my music to GM.. There is a lot of music that I miss that is loaded on a computer that I am not sure even works anymore.

icebike says:

Well fire that old clunker up and drag all your music to your GM directory before its too late.

My GM directory is huge, and its backed up on an external drive. The Google Music cloud is just a distribution platform for me (love it).

I've ripped everything I own to my GM directory.

afazel says:

I always liked Amazon MP3 for music purchases. Granted, I've only bought about $15 worth of music there, but still it was nice and painless. Even more so if you already buy other things from Amazon.

ScottJ says:

Every month Amazon puts 100 albums on sale for $5. These are usually a mix of classics and recent releases by major artists. I buy a couple a month. The songs automatically go into my Amazon cloud drive and I can download them at will.

Chondog says:

One of the biggest issues that Google needs to deal with if they want wish to lure the true music junkies (i.e., > 10,000 tunes), they need to implement a good way of "syncronizing" the tunes in the cloud with those on your computer or phone. Google Music did a great job of importing my tunes and playlists, but a crappy job of helping me keep them synched.

I'm sure that Google is striving to have users ONLY use the cloud, but I don't think that's realistic until they provide us with great tag editing, and smart playlist generation.

mjneid says:

The frak are you talking about?!!?

I use Google Music EVERY DAY. It's the only streaming service my IT doesn't block. It does an Amazing Job of syncing my cloud library with my phone. And vice versa.

Chondog says:

Try changing the genre, year, album title, song title, or any other tag within Google Music on your phone and see how that works for you. Try editing a playlist on your phone.

icebike says:

Creating and Managing your Playlists on the phone is not a problem. Works perfectly. And the playlists sync to your other devices wirelessly.

Editing Album art is easy on the Web, and would be a huge pain in the rear on a phone. You can google up album art even for long ago releases.

Tag editing is the same. Easy on the web, way to small to fiddle around with that on the phone.

Chondog says:

How do you manage the playlists on the phone? I know you have the ability of creating "dumb" static playlists (as opposed to smart dynamic ones), but I guess I'm looking for a way to edit "recently added" or create a playlist based on last played and genre, etc. As its currently set up, the only thing you can do is add or remove songs manually from a playlist. That's so archaic.

GrillMouster says:

What the heck are you talking about? Changes don't sync at all. Accessing the service on your phone and on your computer isn't syncing, because it's all on the cloud.

Sure, you can edit album art on the web, but it only changes the album art for the file in the cloud; it doesn't update the album art of the original mp3 file on your computer. If you update the file stored on your computer, it won't sync the changes to the file on the cloud. It may actually think the updated file is a new fie and upload it again (duplicate) but the old file will still be in the cloud and you have to manually delete it.

I could deal with these problems if I could at least download my files from Google Music's web server.

vansmack says:

Combine

(1) my music collection, with
(2) an affordable music license service, and
(3) an MP3 purchase store

...in one app that offers streaming and download options from the cloud, and works well on both my desktop and my mobile device/tablet and you will rule the world.

Chondog says:

To your point #1 is exactly the issue at hand. It needs to work as well (dare I say it?) as itunes works with ipods (or as I suspect as good as itunes working with the new Apple Cloud.

vansmack says:

Have you tried the iTunes Cloud yet? No streaming....you must download each song to listen to it. This requires you to manage your free space on each device.

I will trade the "song recognition" portion to have a large portion of my library available where ever I have wifi/3G/4G on my device and, more importantly, on my work computer.

Sure, a combination of song recognition with streaming would be nice instead of the upload, but really, after the initial upload, Google Music has been much better than I expected.

icebike says:

Actually, if you dig into it, Google music works the same way.
It downloads the first track, starts playing when it gets a good enough buffer, then downloads the next track in the background. It really does not stream in the normal sense.

(Pop to airplane mode in the middle of a song some time. It will play the rest of that song, and perhaps the next couple songs before it runs out of pre-fetch).

I'm not familiar with this song recognition you speak of, (I suspect you mean it scans your local music to be assured you actually have it, then uses a single cloud copy for all users that own that music).

Google music does the same, but they do it on their own servers, after you upload it, which avoids the legal issue all together, because this has already been court tested.

But they are not REALLY storing a SEPARATE copy of every single copy of every single Lady GaGa song for every single user. They un-duplicate it in the background.

I uploaded an mp3 ripped from a scratched CD, which had a small chirp in one song. It was a well known cut from an old Aerosmith album. A few days later, when I next played it via GM, the chirp was gone, my upload was replaced with a better copy.

ChrisFricke says:

What you're describing isn't actually de-duplication. With true dedupe your file would retain its unique properties (the scratch). Only blocks of storage that are identical would be written once (meaning the parts of the song that aren't scratched) while unique data would consume additional storage. The problem with deduplication is that given the infinite possibilities of recording quality and format differences, even one song from the same artist would get horrible dedupe ratio.

They are achieving a similar net affect (presumably) with regard to disk storage by having a reference master copy that identifiable tracks are redirected to once removed. This ensures everyone gets the same quality whether you ripped that aerosmith track 15 years ago or last week. Pretty cool for most of us but for some it could actually mean a reduction in quality depending on how good the "master" is that Google is using.

I'm not even totally sure that's actually how Google is doing it but from a technical standpoint that's basically how it would work.

vansmack says:

Chris handled the second part, so I'll handle the first part.

When Google DL's it, it does so in a cache (though you can turn it off), clearing out cache on it's own as it adds more tracks.

When Apple does it, you must choose download the track and it stays there until the user deletes it. It only works similar to how the "pin" option works for Google Music. I've streamed thousands of songs from Google Music and not once have I had to go back and clear out space to make room for more songs - it does it on it's own. That's a valuable feature...

Vagrant_1 says:

I use music app everyday and never had a problem with syncing. I hope what they got planned is something affordable.

Saneless says:

This is fine, but like others mentioned, it needs to have a good way to manage and sync your music.

I DO NOT WANT every damn song I own available all the time as my only option. I like the idea of a local, reasonably sized library that I can access at anytime, anywhere. For now I have to do that on a PC but there needs to be a better way to set up what songs within Google Music are moved to the phone.

And don't say the "offline" option. It's buggy and continually re-downloads things over and over, even over 3G when I say to only do it on wifi.

lionsson says:

My money is waiting.

I hope Google comes out with a combination mp3 purchase/streaming subscription model. I still buy the occasional used CD via Amazon because they are so cheap, but my musical listening preferences have changed over the years. I use Spotify, Rdio, and MOG to stream music (free subscriptions) and actually prefer it to traditional mp3 downloads. Now, if Google could combine a free streaming service (to devices) along with an affordable mp3 download option, my mind would be blown.