Google Music Rumors Emerge: $25 Yearly To Stream Your Music From the Cloud

Illustration for article titled Google Music Rumors Emerge: $25 Yearly To Stream Your Music From the Cloud

If all goes according to this rumored plan, Google Music will be out along with Android 3.0 this fall/winter, and it'll charge you just $25 per year to store songs in the cloud. At least, if the labels let it.

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The $25 per year plan is Google's opening offer to the music industry, reports Billboard. It's not clear how much storage that would give you, or how long you could store a given track there. But the details are available sound pretty enticing: purchases—at prevailing industry rates—could be transferred directly to your cloud-based account, in addition to Google scanning your hard drive for tracks you already own and storing them online.Google also wants to go the Lala route of letting you listen to a song all the way through once, with 30-second samples available after. There would also be Ping-like social elements, and you'd presumably be able to listen to your music from any internet-connected device.

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Of course, one of the reasons this all sounds so great is that it's Google's dream plan. By the time it goes through the record label ringer—the same one with which Apple's been contending since it snapped up Lala—we could be looking at something more expensive, more limited, and entirely less appealing.

Still, good to see Google's heart's in the right place. And if they can manage to take music into the cloud before iTunes can, Apple will have quite the battle on its hands. [Billboard via SAI]

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DISCUSSION

Purely from a RIAA political perspective it really comes down to how much they want to undercut Apple's control of the digital music market. In order to give a true competitor to iTunes it is going to require far more than having a comparable music store with less expensive pricing that connects to iTunes (Amazon) or even a comparable music player and piece of software (Zune). It is really going to require a package that offers so much more than iTunes/iPhone that people will be willing to abandon Apple entirely. With Google creating a cloud-based system that can integrate with Android as well as software on the other major operating systems, it is reasonable to believe that Apple could finally be challenged.

What does the RIAA gain from this? Instead of Apple being in control you will have Apple and Google in control. Is that better for the RIAA? No. But, we are talking about the recording industry here, so - who knows.

Regardless, at 25 bucks a year I would happily move my 100 gigs of music to the cloud. And if anyone can pull off a trick like this, it would be Google.