Google's competitor to iTunes will launch sometime in 2011 with the next generation Android release, the Guardian reports from Barcelona, home of the Mobile World Congress.
Google Music has long been rumoured to be close to completion, but as of yet no word has leaked about arrival date or platform. Until now. The Guardian quotes Sanjay Jha, chief executive of Motorola Mobility, speaking in Barcelona about the Motorola Xoom, a tablet PC that will use Google's Honeycomb operating system. Honeycomb is the next upgrade to the Android OS for mobile technologies.
"If you look at Google Mobile services [via Android] today, there's a video service, there's a music service – that is, there will be a music service," Jha said. He added the advantages of Honeycomb is its potential to power the Xoom tablet with "video services and music services."
Google's online music service is reportedly going to be "in the cloud" - when you download and pay for a song, it will be in an online area accessible from any PC. Techland reports, "There's been some speculation that a Google-powered music store would exist entirely online as well, as opposed to Apple's iTunes software which functions as a standalone program."
So why hasn't Google Music launched yet? Some reports shed light on the music industry's main concern: they want people to pay for every download. Webpronews explains, "If a fan buys a song at home, stores it in the cloud, and wants to download that same song onto their work computer, publishers expect to get paid – again."
Sony Music executive Thomas Hesse at MIDEM is quoted as saying the big labels are uncomfortable with "a model where you can just throw anything into the cloud and stream it, if what you threw into the cloud was not legitimately purchased."
Google's push to launch its own music service got some more buzz last year, when it bought Simplify Media, "a startup that offers software that lets you share your iTunes music across platforms, including the web," as TechCrunch noted.