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Google Music now under internal testing, still lacks definite release date

A long, long time ago in a news posting far, far behind, we wrote that Google was in the midst of planning some form of cloud music service in order to offer a more complete user experience on its Android ecosystem. More details about that service has since been unveiled, and the information we have gathered seems to suggest that Google Music is almost ready for a consumer launch.

Read on to find out more.

Google might not have its own online music service yet, but it should be of no surprise that the search giant has always harboured plans for such a service that could be integrated into both its search engine and Android ecosystems. After all, we had already posted a story way back in June last year which shed some light about Google considering the possibility of a music service, and a more recent article published last month has revealed that the music service was indeed a reality, thanks to a slip of the tongue by Motorola's CEO Sanjay Jha.

However, a lucky find by an XDA Developers forum member has suggested that Google's development on its music service has proceeded much faster than many would have expected it to. In a forum post made two weeks ago, the poster claims that he was playing around with a custom Honeycomb ROM for his smartphone, only to find out that the ROM contained a fully working version of Google Music preloaded, complete with cloud syncing capabilities.

More recently, a report published by CNET claims that music industry sources close to the search giant have revealed that Google is already well into the next step of the testing process. Known as 'dog-fooding', it refers to employees being tasked to try or test out a new product or service in order for developers to gather data on how the service might function under typical real world circumstances. Add both findings together, and most users will probably come to the same conclusion – that Google's upcoming online music service is almost ready, and it is only a matter of time before Google Music goes live.

At first glance, that might sound like a godsend. After all, online music sales have been largely dominated by the likes of Apple, and competition from a powerful content provider such as Google ought to give iTunes a run for its money. Unfortunately, it seems that Google will have its work cut out for it, as CNET's report claim that industry players close to the search giant have identified content availability as the biggest problem faced by Google Music. This is due fundamental differences in Apple's and Google's approach to digital music: unlike Apple, Google is reportedly negotiating with record companies for rights to all music synced to Google's cloud servers, and not just tracks made available for download via Google Music.

Needless to say, record companies are understandably wary of Google's unorthodox proposal; this has resulted in delays over content availability for Google Music. Still, one should not overlook the fact that Google has had experience in digital music, and it is entirely possible that Google's approach might come off as the better solution as opposed to Apple's iTunes. But we shall wait and see.

Source: CNET

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