Unlicensed Google Music arrives tomorrow


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Google is preparing to launch a test version of a new digital music service that will enable users to upload their music libraries to the company's servers.

"This is a personal storage service that doesn't require licenses anymore than Sony and iPod or a hard drive requires licenses
--Zahavah Levine, Google exec

CNET reported in March that Google was testing its music service internally and was ready to unveil the long-anticipated service. And that is what Google intends to do tomorrow at the company's I/O Developer Conference in San Francisco, according to Zahavah Levine, one of the executives in charge of getting the music service off the ground.

While Google and Levine have been negotiating to obtain licenses from the four largest record companies for more than a year, the test version of the service will launch without licensing. This is the same strategy that Amazon employed when it launched its cloud-music service in March.

"We're launching a beta service called Music Beta by Google that lets' users upload their personal music libraries to their own account on Google's servers," Levine told CNET. Users can "access those libraries anytime or anywhere from Web-connected devices," he said.

While the service is still in beta, users will be able to join by invitation only. Initially, Google is prioritizing attendees of the I/O conference and owners of Motorola's Xoom tablets, which is the first device to use Android 3.0. After that, the company will then turn to ordinary users who request an invitation, which they can do at Music.Google.com. To access the service, users will require a browser that supports flash--that means no Apple devices--or on any Android device that's version 2.2 or higher, Levine said. The service will only be offered in the United States for the time being and while in beta it will be offered free of charge.

More Unlicensed Google Music arrives tomorrow | Media Maverick - CNET News

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