Google in talks with record labels
Google is making plans to open a mp3 music store, joining the likes of Apple and Amazon.
Continuing on from its music streaming service – Music Beta – Google is reportedly in talks with record labels about licensing its catalogues to be available for purchase, according to the New York Times last week.
Currently, users can upload up to 20,000 mp3 tracks they already own to Music Beta via Google's cloud computing service and to stream it to their own web-connected devices. However, the service is currently only available in the US.
According to the Wall Street Journal, out of the primary music labels – Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group – only EMI is close to a deal with Google, with discussions continuing.
The idea of cloud computing appears to presently be in vogue, with Amazon releasing its Cloud Drive last month and Apple releasing its iCloud service in the past week.
The iCloud looks to automatically stores photos, songs and other files on Apple's servers, allowing them to be accessed from a variety of Apple products instantly, thus eliminating the inconvenience of uploading, downloading and syncing to and from individual gadgets.
Apple is also reportedly preparing to release another service – iTunes Match – shortly, allowing users to automatically sync songs in their iTunes library that weren't purchased from Apple for the cost of an annual fee.
The news of a music store comes after Google's product vice-president Bradley Horowitz announced the closure of Google Buzz last week.
In a move to focus on Google+, Buzz would be shutting down "in a few weeks". Related developer support such as Google Labs and Code Search is set to close on January 15.