Google Music to arrive in time for Christmas?

Back in June, when Pocket-lint first brought you word that a Google music service could be on the horizon, we referred to a report which suggested that the service was "still months away".

Well, it looks as if the "months away" estimate could be proved correct (5 to 6 months, in fact) - with the latest reports suggesting that we could be seeing the Android mobile based service going live before Christmas.

These latest reports correlate with what Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist reported in July after an interview with Android's product manager Gaurav Jain where, according to the paper, Gaurav revealed that mobile will play a huge part in Google's music strategy and that Google's music service will launch alongside Android 3.0, code-named Gingerbread, in time for the holidays.

Current reports state that Google's VP of engineering, Andy Rubin, is chatting to record labels about what Google's cloud-based service would look like.

It's suggested that the labels are excited by the prospect of another major player entering the digital download market to challenge Apple's dominance. Currently iTunes accounts for 70 per cent of all digital music sales in the US.

"Finally here’s an entity with the reach, resources and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform", said an unnamed label executive to Reuters.

"What you’ll have is a very powerful player in the market that’s good for the music business".

Some critics have pointed out that the Cupertino collective missed a trick by not taking iTunes into the cloud with version 10 of the software. It will be interesting to see if Google capitalises by releasing a successful cloud-based venture of its own.

Are you excited by an Apple and Google face-off over digital music, or will Google's record of failing when it comes to actually selling stuff come back to haunt the Mountain View based giant? Give us your thoughts below.