updated 11:40 am EDT, Tue June 22, 2010
Google Music may give cloud streaming in long term
Google's upcoming music store received more details overnight with more leaks. The service would have its expected download and streaming results, some of which would come from search, but in the long term would offer special access to Android users. Like the Zune HD's Zune Pass, Google would have a subscription service that allows streaming directly to Android phones as long as they're online.
A more conventional store would simply be an in-between step on the road to the mobile streaming plan, a WSJ tip explained.
Removing computers from the equation has been a key focus of Google's more recent efforts. At its I/O conference last month, the mobile OS developer showed how it planned to avoid the need to sync by allowing "intents" in Android 2.2. Customers visiting a music store on the web could request a download on the web but push it directly to a phone, which would download the tracks by itself rather than have listeners start the download on the phone or sync with a computer.
The introduction of the store, which may not occur for months at the earliest, is thought to be a way of bringing Android's traditionally weak media integration up to par and possibly beyond the iPhone's. Apple has been rumored developing a streaming iTunes option, but it may be limited to web streaming due to labels' hesitation to allow a planned locker that would grant remote access to any song the customer had already bought. Such limits could impact Google's plans, as the labels aren't likely to grant it special privileges for what they see as multiple 'sales' of the same track.