Google to launch cloud-based music service Tuesday

Google Logo 1024x426It looks like Google is about to beat Apple in the race to launch a new digital music service. Amazon launched its own cloud-based music service back in March.

According to Cnet, a test version of the service, which will allow users to upload their music to Google servers (aka the cloud), will be unveiled on Tuesday at Google’s I/O Developer Conference in San Francisco. The service will be free and initially available only in the US.

Cnet received word from Zahavah Levine, one of several Google executives overseeing the launch of the music service. “We’re launching a beta service called Music Beta by Google that lets users upload their personal music libraries to their own account on Google’s servers,” Levine said. Such a service will allow a user to access their music library music anytime and anywhere from a device connected to the Internet.

In a move similar to Amazon’s initial approach to licensing for its cloud-based music service (ie. to not have any), Levine told Cnet that although her company has spent the last year negotiating licenses with the big record companies, the initial launch will be without licensing from those companies. It’s not clear why this might be, or even whether negotiations with the record companies are ongoing, but it could substantiate reports last month indicating that talks between Google and record industry executives regarding licensing terms had “gone backwards.”

During the test phase of the new service, users will get to try it out by invitation only. So how can you get an invite? It seems that those present at the developer conference will have a decent chance, together with owners of Motorola’s Xoom tablet. The doors will then be thrown open for users to request an invitation online and hope for the best. iPhone users, however, won’t be able to use it on their device yet – the service, in the initial stages, requires Flash to run. The beta version will also not yet be available on phones running some versions of Android, according to Cnet.

Reports last month seemed to suggest Apple was on the verge of launching its own cloud-based music service ahead of Google. It looks increasingly likely, however, that Google is about to pip Apple to the post. It might be that Apple is keen on securing licensing deals with major music companies prior to launch, which could enable it to offer a more comprehensive service, such as the ability to share music with friends. Alternatively, it may simply follow in the footsteps of Amazon and Google and deal with those issues later. It certainly won’t want to let other companies get too much of a head start.


Sixth public beta of iOS 12 still lacks one key feature

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts.

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Listen up! These are the best movie soundtracks of all time

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled background music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.

The best Moto Z3 cases to keep your flagship phone protected

The newly released Motorola Moto Z3 is a fine phone with a lot to offer. But while it's tough, it's not tough enough to go five rounds with concrete. Here are the best Moto Z3 cases to keep it protected.

Master your Moto E5 Plus and E5 Play with these handy tips and tricks

The Moto E5 Plus and Moto E5 Play are Motorola's latest budget phone offerings. Whether you're new to Moto phones or just upgrading, there are plenty of special features to explore. Here are our favorite Moto E5 tips and tricks.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Department of Justice asks judge to force Facebook to decrypt Messenger

The Department of Justice and Facebook are embroiled in a legal dispute over the future of Messenger's privacy policies. The government is demanding it decrypt Messaenger to allow for wiretapping of criminal suspects. Facebook is refusing…

SMS Connect will allow you to use Skype to text from your PC

If you're a fan of Skype, then we have some good news for you. Microsoft is working on a new Skype feature called SMS Connect, which will allow you to use Skype to send and receive text messages on your PC, provided you have an Android…

From white skies to blurry subjects, how to fix common photo mistakes

You snapped the photo at the perfect moment, but the image is blurry. Understanding the most common photography mistakes can help capture better memories and more likable Instagrams. Here's how to fix these seven common photography…

Quindim, quiche or quesito? What will Android Q be called?

We always like to wildly speculate about the next dessert-themed name for Android, but the letter Q is making that tougher than usual. Here are our best guesses and suggestions for the full name of Android Q.

How iPhone photographers connect the world using only ‘basic’ gear

August 19 is World Photography Day, marking progress from the daguerreotype to the iPhone. But how do today's photographers create a connection to viewers using basic gear? We talked to iPhone photographers and influencers around the world…

Is this proof Google plans to launch a Pixel Watch soon?

From its Pixel smartphones to Google Home, the Google brand is quickly becoming synonymous with high-quality consumer hardware. This year, it looks like Google may branch out a little further by creating its first smartwatch.

Samsung confirms the Galaxy S10 won't be the first 5G phone

It may be no more than a sparkle in Samsung's eye, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 is definitely coming. Here's everything we know about what's sure to be Samsung's most amazing creation so far.