one of the oldest and deepest entrenched music magazines, is citing
multiple sources as having revealed secret details
upcoming music service.The new Google Music comes at a
price -- $25 a year to be precise -- but it makes Apple's iTunes (in
its current implementation) look like a dinosaur. First the
basics; the service will offer direct digital downloads much like
Apple.An album download will reportedly generally cost $7.
Most tracks will cost 70 cents, "superstar tracks" will
cost 91 cents, and "catalog tracks" will cost 49
cents.Your $25 subscription fee comes with a free online
music "locker" -- a secure storage site in the cloud – in
which you will be able to place your purchases. From there they
can stream your music to any compatible internet connected computer
or device. The size of the locker was not revealed
to the sources.If that feature is not enough to make Apple
blush, this will as well -- Google will be offering a
one-time full preview,
reportedly of every track in its library, similar to what Lala.com
before Apple acquired it, killing
the full-length previews. Full previews certainly outdo
iTunes 20 second previews of 4 minute tracks.The app for the
service would reportedly be entirely web-based, so you don't have to
worry about installing pesky applications on your machines.
Additionally Google is reportedly planning on including a mild social
network/song sharing service, similar to Apple's
new Ping network, with Google Music.And the biggest
upside of all for Google is that the company obviously has vastly
more ability to redirect internet traffic to its service than Apple.
While Apple can boast reaching hundreds of millions of users with its
iDevices, Google can literally boast reach over a billion users
worldwide.The biggest trouble spot for Google, according to
the report, is shaping up to be reticence from music labels.
Some industry officials called the proposal "a good start",
but others promised that it would see resistance particularly on the
issue of track costs and previews.According to the sources
Google's proposal calls for a "50-50" revenue split between
master rights holders and Google, with music publishers receiving a
10.5% share. It's unclear if that 10.5 percent is deducted
before the split, or if it will come out of one of the two parties'
shares.The sources say Google is seeking to lock labels into
a 3-year contract from the launch of the service in terms of pricing
and features agreements.Users would also be able to use their
web app to scan their hard drives and upload files to their music
locker -- including music from other services (iTunes, Rhapsody,
etc.), songs ripped from CDs (which the RIAA
contends is "stealing"), and even songs obtained from
P2P networks. The latter is a thorny issue in the negotiations
for labels, but they reportedly realize that it may be inevitable and
are pushing Google to, in return, tighten restrictions on its search
results to filter
out P2P software and torrent sites.It remains to be seen
how music labels ultimately react to the proposal, but planned
service certainly sounds like a good deal for customers. And
with music labels already fed up with Apple, they may begrudgingly
embrace Google's terms as the lesser of two evils (in their eyes).
Armed with superior technology and brand reach, it might finally put
an end to the era of iTunes reigning supreme in the world of digital
quote: In 2005, Google expressed an interest in Licensing Skyhook's XPS technology. In 2007, after the expiration of an evaluation license between the parties, Google asked Skyhook to provide Goggle with data from Skyhook's confidential and proprietary database of known Wi-Fi access points. Growing sceptical of Google's motives, Skyhook declined to provide this highly confidential information to Google. Ultimately, Google elected not to license Skyhook's technology for commercial use. Instead shortly thereafter Google began offering Google Location Services in competition with XPS positioning system.