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Google Music store official: 320Kbps, free Google+ listens

updated 05:50 pm EST, Wed November 16, 2011

Google Music shop now live to tackle iTunes

Google as expected launched Google Music. The store serves as its own equivalent to iTunes and is available both from the web and from Android devices. The store offers 320Kbps MP3 tracks and a unique Google+ sharing feature that lets users share songs in one-time free listens, including whole albums when sharing to circles.

The store focuses both on curation and through control to artists. Google itself makes recommendations for artists and genres, and it has special video interviews and other features. A Google Music Artists Hub lets the artists themselves post music at their own prices as well as create their own pages. Revenue splitting is similar to iTunes, with Google taking a 30 percent cut.

The store focuses heavily on giveaways: Google is promising a free song a day, starting with David Bowie's "Sound and Vision." It's also promising exclusives, such as a live EP from Coldplay and early access to Busta Rhymes' new album. T-Mobile is a key partner and will be giving away its own free songs through the end of 2011 in addition to what Google offers.

Music on the store currently comes from eight million tracks, with a total of 13 million promised in the next few months. EMI, Sony, and Universal have signed on among majors, while independents like K7, Merge, Naxos, Tunecore, and The Orchard are also onside.

Web access to the store starts immediately. Android devices will get access to the music store within "coming days." Google hasn't yet offered support to any other platform. T-Mobile customers will have the option of billing any songs they get directly to the phone bill instead of using Google Checkout.

by MacNN Staff



  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    MP3 is sooo 8 years ago...

  1. andrewbw

    Joined: Dec 1969



    MP3s work with everything and are relatively future-proof. Not that there's anything wrong with AAC either, and its ubiquity on Apple devices helps, but you're really reaching to somehow fault this service just because it uses MP3s.

  1. bdmarsh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    about the same as 256kbit AAC

    MP3 is supported by more devices, but to get similar quality to 256kbit AAC they had to use the 320 kbit MP3 - larger file sizes.

  1. chas_m



    Not a bad start

    I really, REALLY don't like the tie-in to Google+ since I have absolutely NO intention of joining it, but having said that the rest of it seems like a good deal. Good choice on the first free song, glad SOMEbody at Google has some taste ... 320kbps MP3 is to my mind inferior to iTunes Plus but that's a wash really ... artists selling their own stuff at their own price might turn out well, we'll see.

    On the one thing, NONE of this would have happened if it wasn't for iTunes, but on the other hand, competition is good and I support competition. So, as I say: good start.

  1. chas_m




    Oh silly me ... thinking that Canadians would be able to access this! When will I ever learn that in Google's eyes, Canadians are second-class US citizens!

  1. syzygi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Google what?

    Why do they call it Google music, when it's sold in the Android store?

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