Google Music drops the beta tag, brings music store to US users
Google Music has dropped the beta tag as the music service goes live, bringing music to Google and Android device users Stateside. Taking things a step further than the previous beta offering, Google also launched a music store at their "These go to eleven" event in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Google Music offers a cloud streaming service as well as offline options and will allow you to upload your music, up to 20,000 songs to Google's servers. This process will be automatically managed by the Music Manager app on your computer, something we detailed when we looked at the beta back in May.
Google Music is available online through music.google.com via a web player, as well as through the Music player on your Android device, be that a tablet or a phone, so it's always available as long as you have a connection.
To save your content locally, you can opt to pin, or download, particular albums so you always have access to them.
The online web player will now also give you access to the new Google Music Shop where you can browse, preview and buy music. This music then become available across your Google holdings. You'll also find a new tab for music appearing in the Android Market app, so you can browse and buy from your device.
There will be a range of exclusives, with content from the likes of the Busta Rhymes, the Rolling Stones and Coldplay detailed.
Purchased music will be in the MP3 format at 320kbps and prices will be fairly typical at $0.99 a track or $9.49 an album (but we haven't had the chance to explore all the prices as yet). You'll get 90 second previews too.
In an attempt to make music social, Google are also adding a range of sharing functions. You'll be able to share your music on Google+, letting those in your circles get a play through of tracks you buy. It isn't just limited to tracks: if your friend buys a new album, you'll be able to play the entire thing once, which should be a good way to discover new music.
Over 13 million tracks will be offered, with Universal, Sony, EMI, and a number of independent labels listed.
Google Music is now live in the US, there is no word on if or when it might be coming to the UK. If the Movies service is anything to go by, it could be some time.