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Google Cloud Music Entertainment News

Google Starts Testing Google Music Internally 119

Posted by Soulskill
from the then-a-five-year-beta-period dept.
Krystalo writes "Google employees have begun testing Google Music internally. Talks with at least some of the top publishers and the four largest record labels are still ongoing. The delays are largely due to the fact that Google is negotiating for cloud music rights and not just the authorization to distribute the songs themselves. The search giant wants to be able to store users' existing music libraries on the company's servers. Labels are in similar discussions with Apple."
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Google Starts Testing Google Music Internally

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "testing Google Music internally."

    So where do they put the speakers? I hope they are wireless, and you just have to swallow them . Or maybe a suppository
    A new cure for irregularity...

    • Yes, the higher frequency audio is used to break up the larger chunks into more manageable sizes.

  • by MonsterTrimble (1205334) <monstertrimbleNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Saturday March 26, 2011 @08:51AM (#35621702)
    Ok, so it's a streaming service (a la Last.fm & Pandora), you can buy music from (a la Amazon & Apple) with the backing of Google. I get it that because it has Google's ecosystem that it has a really good shot at surviving. What I don't understand is what is *REALLY* going on. These guys are notorious for doing funky stuff that either instantly changes the landscape (Chrome, Picasa) or bombs horribly (Buzz). This smells funny - almost too obvious for Google. There has to be something which truly sets it apart, not another 'me too' product. Maybe it's small label work? I'm not really sure.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Payment in bitcoins ?
      • by genjix (959457)

        I might have a reason to start buying music if that's the case.

        • Y'know, I was thinking of setting bitcoin payment up for my own stuff [soundcloud.com], since it seems to be readily convertible from hard currency. The only problem being, I'd have to do transactions and send download links manually. Oh well. For a very low-volume service, that should be fine, but higher-volume... well...

          Not that it ought to matter unless I ever get more than, say, ten a day, which is beyond how many downloads I usually get in a week as it is.

          But maybe that's a subject for an Ask Slashdot post and not a bu

    • by manitee (2974)

      > These guys are notorious for doing funky stuff that either instantly changes the landscape (Chrome, Picasa)

      I'm not sure how Chrome instantly changed the landscape other than creating another also-ran browser.

      • by Mitaphane (96828)

        I'm not sure what the OP is referring to about Picasa, but he is definitely on the mark about Chrome. Maybe you haven't noticed IE9's or FF4's UI; both have taken cues from Chrome's original design (tabs on top, pinning tabs, etc). Chrome has also started a browser arms race in terms of performance. The browser is rapidly acquiring market share; at the current rate of growth, it looks like it will overtake FF in the next year or two (http://www.thechromesource.com/tag/chrome-market-share-2011/).

        • by hedwards (940851)

          It's unlikely that Chrome will over take Firefox any time soon. Firefox just has too much of a lead and hasn't allowed the browser to stagnate the way that MS did with IE. The problem is that it's just not as good a browser over all as the competition. Google isn't leaving it as the minimalist browser that they started with, and as soon as they make a browser that has the sort of broad appeal that Firefox does, they're going to face the same challenges that Firefox does in pleasing the userbase. Additionall

          • It's unlikely that Chrome will over take Firefox any time soon. Firefox just has too much of a lead and hasn't allowed the browser to stagnate the way that MS did with IE. The problem is that it's just not as good a browser over all as the competition

            if that has true, then chrome wouldn't have any significant market share. it has ~25%. 25% goes way outside of the bounds of the edge case geeks that are looking for a minimalist browser.

            what google chrome has is a trusted, reliable, well known name. firefox does not. the average person asks: what's a firefox? is it a company? no? then what is it? mozilla? huh? it's a foundation? if a user has a choice between "google chrome" and "mozilla firefox", they'll choose the google one.

            • by Vaphell (1489021)

              so you apparently think that average person lives under the rock in some desolate place. Firefox in europe is at 40% mark, it's hard not to know about the browser that 2 in 5 use for some time already. Besides why do you think that average person who is ignorant in case of firefox, suddenly knows that Google is a multibillion company and not that internet/search thingie you type stuff in and get results, maybe email too.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Manybe I'm reading the wrong thing into this, but it sounds like you could also upload all the songs you already own and access those from anywhere, like a slingbox backed by google's bandwidth:

      The delays are largely due to the fact that Google is negotiating for cloud music rights and not just the authorization to distribute the songs themselves. The search giant wants to be able to store users' existing music libraries on the company's servers. Labels are in similar discussions with Apple.

      Labels have ne

      • by Roogna (9643)

        Why would they bother to sue, iTunes -audio- files have not been DRM protected in years. The record companies might sue Google, because, well they sue everyone they don't make money from, but Apple has nothing to do with the equation as far as Google goes.

        • Would transferring your iTunes library include the song's metadata? I use Windows Media Player and not iTunes, but I have playlists set up like my own Top 40, which is just the 40 songs I've played the most, calculated by play count. I have things playlists based on my own subjective ratings of a song. iTunes keeps track of playcount and rating, right? I can copy the MP3s holding individual files, but can I take my playcounts or song ratings with me to another player/music software? With WMP I can.

          With Ap

          • by Roogna (9643)

            Yes you can. All that information is exported -automatically- by iTunes into a XML file. As far as iTunes and lock in go, it is specifically in relation to the hardware devices Apple produces such as iPod's and iPhone's that Apple keeps locked down (Which while I agree may be obnoxious is a different battle and has nothing to do with this). But Apple's music store has for years now provided DRM free tracks and playing such files with iTunes does export all the metadata in a readable fashion (Yes, I -have

        • by KamuZ (127113)

          Probably that is true for the USA store.

          In the Japanese store pretty much there is no Japanese artist releasing songs without DRM (iTunes Plus), so pretty much it seems the decision is from the labels and not from Apple.

      • I can already access all the songs I own from anywhere, using my smartphone and laptop. Are there really that many people desperate to access their music remotely who don't carry a device that already has the capacity to store all the music they could ever want?
    • Re:Cloud, eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZorinLynx (31751) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @09:49AM (#35622062) Homepage

      Why is everyone so obsessed with streaming anyway? Streaming is okay when you're at home on a wired, reliable connection, but when you're out and about, if you own the music, you might as well have it stored locally on your device. Storage is cheap, music tends to be small (compared to video) and easy to transfer. I've been on roadtrips where listening to Pandora was unreliable because of poor cel coverage out in the sticks between cities. At those points I just fire up my local music and enjoy.

      If the world goes to streaming, we'll constantly be at the mercy of the network, and the network isn't reliable enough to work full time. And the nature of wireless networking means it never will be.

      Meanwhile, we've got portable devices with 32GB and 64GB of solid state storage. Why do we need to stream everything again?

      • I know about a dozen people with androids that stream from services like Pandora etc... They hook their phone up in their car via bluetooth and away they go.
      • by stms (1132653)
        Because if you don't stream it it's harder for Google to track you.
      • by hob42 (41735)

        My family has 5 laptops and 2 desktops as primary computers, plus three smartphones. I have ways of storing my music centrally and making it accessible, but the simplicity of a cloud service to make it available at home, at work, at a friend's house, when I'm visiting my family, when I'm on vacation...

        Plus, if this service turns in to something like Lala, they can provide cheap access to music you might like to listen via streaming to but don't want to bother paying full price for. I'll pay $10 to have 100

        • by adolf (21054)

          Subsonic is free and GPL. I use it to make my music available at home, at work, at a friend's house, when I'm visiting my family, when I'm vacation...

          It works on my iPod, it works on my Droid, it works on my laptop, it works on my desktop, it works on my friend's Mac.

          Etc.

      • by melikamp (631205)
        No one is obsessed with streaming, except for advertisers. Everyone else is perfectly content with "playing before download is finished". Mandatory streaming is the only way to deliver ads on every listen.
      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        +5000 to this post.
        I don't understand why people have this obsession about wasting bandwidth 'because they can' - especially wirelessly - I think even wired it's done unnecessarily.

    • Google wants to provide you with books, because they want to know what you read. With Search, because they want to know where you "go" online. With free e-mail, to track what you are discussing. And now with music, so they can parse your psycho-demographic profile even more minutely.

      They do this in order to sell *you* to the highest bidder, and/or the NSA. They are not a "tech" company, they are an Advertising Company that uses highly invasive technology. Technology which an entire dribbling, drooling,

      • by tsj5j (1159013) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @10:26AM (#35622312)

        Subway wants to provide us with food, because they want to know what we eat.
        Let's stop that "evil empire" by eating.

        The answer isn't to stop consuming, but rather to encourage increased competition.

        • Subway wants to provide us with food, because they want to know what we eat.

          No, Subway wants to provide you with food because you give them money when they do. Google, on the other hand, gets money when it delivers advertising to you.

          • Google, on the other hand, gets money when it delivers advertising to you.

            replace "google" with magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, and so on, and it doesn't sound so scary. the diff is that google can provide you with much more interesting services in exchange for your eyeballs then those other schemes.

            • Magazines, newspapers, TV, and radio are all non-interactive media, which severely limits the amount of information that these people can collect about you. If you buy a car magazine in a newsagent, then the publisher learns nothing about you at all (although the shop might, if you pay by credit card or have a loyalty card, then the store might). If you buy a subscription, then they know your name and address and that you are interested in cars, but basically nothing else.

              Google, on the other hand, kno

        • by guruevi (827432)

          I wonder if it would be profitable for a food place like Subway that makes 25c sandwiches (really, hardly any meat and the sandwiches have shrunk from a liberal foot x 3" to something akin to a Wal-Mart hot dog bun) to be sponsored entirely by compulsory advertising. Has our whole economy become sustainable by using ads as an exchange of goods and services?

      • I keep waiting for our Charleton Heston Moment, but I fear it may never come.

        He's dead, Jim.

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        Advertising Company that uses highly invasive technology.

        "Advertising" doesn't completely cover it. What they really are is an Content Brokerage. People who have content got to Google to get help selling it, and people who want content go to Google to try to find it, and Google matches up the two parties. This in itself would be okay, except Google has no competition, and uses its corpus of data in order to front-run content and service seekers and steer business to the highest bidder (or just to Google'

      • and/or the NSA

        speculation is fun!

    • by yoha (249396)

      Apple is the clear leader in media management (photos, music), and this is an effort to get the Android platform to compete adequately with iOS. The Android store has chock full of music management software, which highlights the deficiency in the Android platform.

    • by rcharbon (123915)
      Maybe self-published music along with the RIAA stuff? That's how they do Books.
  • . . . to the term, "house music".
  • So you can put the music you have acquired over the course of your lifetime on there and be able to stream it? Anyone dumb enough to put music they've downloaded illegitimately on there?
    • Anyone dumb enough to put music they've downloaded illegitimately on there?

      So how do they know my music is illegitimate? I'm pretty sure ripping CDs is considered Fair Use in some jurisdictions. How do you propose they would distinguish between my bought and paid for ripped library, and Joe Bloggs torrented collection. Merely storing mp3s or whatever there couldn't constitute evidence of illegal downloading etc.

      • by wall0645 (1665631)
        An example could be the songs you buy from iTunes. They have your email (or rather, the email associated with the iTunes account that purchased the song) in the song metadata, no? Multiple accounts having that same metadata = piracy? I don't know.
        • But surely it's not difficult to strip out that metadata. Not saying that Google might not be planning some sort of 'locker' service, but using it to detect piracy/infringement? It would be unworkable IMO.
    • IIRC either Italian law or the national PRO regulations forbid third parties to do backups of protected multimedia content. Possibly just offering generic backup space is enough not to be affected. Of course it's retarded, but similar laws could be around elsewhere and Google already demonstrated with street view and wireless data sniffing (the latter I do not approve) that they should care more about regulations.

  • MIcrosoft is not mentioned. Hmmm....
  • The search giant wants to be able to store users' existing music libraries on the company's servers

    http://michaelrobertson.com/archive.php?minute_id=336 [michaelrobertson.com]

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Yes. That is why they're now negotiating for a deal to do it. And despite the buzzword compliance, it could be pretty sweet if you get to both download your music and have it available on an online streaming service as well as upload your own music to add to the online streaming. I'm not holding my breath for it though, I'm sure there'll be some gotchas.

  • Anything google makes will be better than that crappy program.
  • Ehrm,... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jaroslaw.fedewicz (1539623) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @09:35AM (#35621974) Journal
    > The delays are largely due to the fact that Google is negotiating for cloud music rights and not just the authorization to distribute the songs themselves.
    > The search giant wants to be able to store users' existing music libraries on the company's servers.

    Would you mind, Mr. Big Label Representative, if I ask, pardon for jumping in, what the bloody hell does your label have to do with _my_ music collection? May I suggest you shove your bloody greed up your stinking bottom, sir?
    • Would you mind, Mr. Big Label Representative, if I ask, pardon for jumping in, what the bloody hell does your label have to do with _my_ music collection? May I suggest you shove your bloody greed up your stinking bottom, sir?

      Because what Google will do is have a canonical copy of everything and link it to you. YOU won't store the file. It won't be like Dropbox. Google will store the file and know exactly when you access it.

    • that you've already paid for it and should have something like this to help you listen to it, without incident?
      that you don't listen to big-label stuff anyway?

      • I do my own live concert recordings at a local jazz club.

        I also listen to music I like when it is distributed on CC-like terms. This is because I enjoy live music and attend concerts when I have an opportunity to.

        I usually have no permission to distribute and/or broadcast what I record, but I have all the rights to do whatever constitutes personal use, including listening to them, backing them up in clouds of my choosing. I would slap on the face any label representative who would claim I have ripped off th
  • Might this project morph into a google books scenario? Where google actively scans in all the worlds music and gives everyone access (for money). I realize that the google books thing is on hold till they bribe enough politicians for an enabling law, but that's easy enough (politicians are easy though not cheap).
  • Thank you, Google. Ever since Apple bought Lala just so they could shutter it, I've been waiting for someone else to fill the gap. Apple will have a hard time buying out the competition this time.

    • by dannynono (809467)
      I'm hoping it's the return of Simplify Media - which Google purchased around the same time as Apple/LaLa. Simplify didn't require the user's library to be uploaded though.
  • TFA (yes, I read it/them) partly emphasizes this as competition with Apple - would that part help the consumer, or would it hurt? (It might hurt because it seems Apple's business interests have been acting as a counterweight to the big labels' business interests, a force of resistance that may end up being diluted with the labels facing two separate heavyweights)

    • I'm sure Google has thought about that a great deal; Apple's ability to bench-press their suppliers is nothing short of epic in the world of monopolistic manipulation, perhaps comparable to that of Walmart.

      That being said, what will happen will probably resemble Walmart's case: Google's presence on the market isn't going to significantly diminish the number of people already bound to Apple music players, which can only work properly through iTunes. Even though there are other grocery stores, Walmart stil
      • Yeah, the thought-process progression from paragraphs 1 to 3 is what I'm afraid of.
        For some reason, I hadn't thought of connecting this to issues with music on YouTube, but it makes sense. :)

  • (I understand that audio from whatever source would enable them to test the system internally)
    (Internal rather than public might avoid some infringement issues anyway*)
    * I am not a lawyer, etc.

    Would it make sense for Google to publicly launch this without all of the Big Four on board?
    Sometimes with past developments, some of the big four have gotten on board before the others.

    P.S.
    I wonder how Google's coming along with negotiating with the indies - they're likely to be more cooperative, but not necessarily,

  • From the TFA:
    "CNET and others have reported that Google is negotiating for the right to store users' existing music libraries on the company's servers, the sources said."
    "Licensing rights for digital lockers of this sort is largely uncharted territory for the labels. There are no templates for these kinds of deals lying around and the record companies want to move cautiously as they assess Apple's and Google's plans."

    My brain just exploded.

    Did I understand that correctly? Why is that Google need to negotiat

  • You have to do internal testing to find the brown noise [southparkstudios.com], which is the real purpose of project Google Music.
  • Havent seen anyone else mention this, but last year google purchased Simplify Media - a cross-platform streaming music/photo app. Continually improving, it _was_ the only decent solution for streaming one's own music collection to any iOS device and also had a nice desktop utility connecting the remote into a local iTunes application (pre-dating Apple's shared libraries).
    • Yep. I used it for a long time and it was pretty good. I was very pissed of when it was killed off, not least because it wasn't a free app. OK, it's not like I paid a fortune for it, but still... Anyway, I have since switched to Subsonic [subsonic.org] and it's working a treat.
  • ... at least in China, I've been using it for months. The only catch here is that you can't pay for it and the streaming and downloading seems to be handled by a third party website (something like top100.cn). So I don't really know what they're talking about when they say "internally testing," unless that means that the google music everyone in China knows (and most of them love) is going to be somehow inherently different from what the rest of the world will be getting (though that wouldn't be particularl

  • You get no say in where I store data.

  • ...it's called the "CD" or "Compact Disc".

    You can buy them on the Interweb or in shops, there's lots of different types depending on what sort of music you like, and they come in a nice hard plastic case that, if you store in reasonably dry conditions out of direct sunlight, automatically act as a backup of your music collection.

    I use a piece of software called a "CD Ripper" that allows me to encode the CD to tracks that I can then download to a music player and/or carry about with me much easier.

    I also cam

  • If google does this right, they could become vene bigger then appl'es itunes with this....if its done right.
    They would first have to offer a great business model for keeping access to what you purchased, somehow,
    losing your emails (previous /. story) would not cut it when you own 1500 mp3s....

    They would almost make money right away by using pointers to files instead of letting people upload their files...sort of like upload to you music book blackeyedpees (which they already have a copy of....) ask you is t

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