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Google Music a Few Notes Short

Google hoped to be able to sell songs like iTunes

Google delivered its widely anticipated, Amazon Cloud Drive-like online music service at its I/O developer meet Tuesday, beating Apple out.

It calls the thing Music Beta by Google. How long it will remain a beta and free is unclear. Betas at Google can seem interminable.

The virtual locker, initially limited to the US and the invited, will let users upload and store 20,000 songs from their Windows and Mac PCs in the cloud, stream them from there to an Android device or computer and cache copies to be played offline.

Like Amazon, Google has come to no licensing arrangements with the major record labels, muttering under its breath that their terms were "unreasonable and unsustainable" and defending the scheme as "legal." Billboard thinks Sony and Universal were the stumbling blocks.

Google hoped to be able to sell songs like iTunes and it reportedly really wanted the system to be a central server full of music where user libraries were scanned - not uploaded - and the server simply matched the tracks to what the user already owned. It also wanted folks to be able to sample tunes and share owned songs with friends.

Apple's upcoming streaming invention is expected to be blessed by the label gods, leaving TechCrunch to remark that without that support Google "will look like Apple's ugly sibling. Again."

Amazon, which maintains that people have the right to upload their own music, for Pete's sake, is reportedly still negotiating. Supposedly Google will get back to the table too. However, Billboard says the labels are "pissed." Google may have to settle for the indies.

Like Apple and Amazon and Microsoft, Google's Android users will be able to rent movies from the Android Market for $1.99-$3.99. Apparently thousands of flicks will be available. YouTube's doing the same thing.

Google eventually intends to have Android devices light the lights, start the coffee, regulate the thermostat and turn on the dishwasher through a program called [email protected] There will be special energy-saving light bulbs later this year.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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