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Music in the Cloud for Android?
While the Android mobile phone platform might be one of the world’s most popular, it has its drawbacks. Most notably there is no easy to use sync system between a desktop computer and an Android phone, although integration with Google deals with most of these things.
As far as iPhone and Windows Phone are concerned, with a sync application (such as iTunes or Zune) comes the ability to buy music. Android devices can only take advantage of new music when connected to a PC or laptop and music is saved to the device manually.
However, this is likely to become a thing of the past very soon with the unveiling of the Google Music app, a new Android application that will deliver a music store direct to Android handsets!
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How Android Users Currently Enjoy Media Content
Currently, an Android phone requires syncing of MP3s and videos either by manually syncing (using drag and drop) or by setting the device as an MP3 player in software such as iTunes or Windows Media Player.
While this is not perfect it is an effective solution; Android devices also often have removable SD cards that can be slotted into a card reader if a suitable USB cable is unavailable, providing additional means of adding music or videos to the phone.
Finally there are several apps available for streaming content to Android phones; most notable is Last.fm, although this service is set to turn subscription only for Android and iPhone platforms during 2011.
A Google Music app couldn’t come soon enough!
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What a Google Music App Will Bring to Android
While there is not expected to be any PC to Android synchronization available with the (yet to be formally christened) Google Music app, the system will allow the purchase of music and its storage in the cloud.
This will enable Google Android owners to purchase music and download or stream it to their phones, as well as providing access to the same music from other devices such as PCs and laptops or perhaps home theater systems.
The idea is simple – you would purchase tunes or rip them from your existing CD collection and then upload them to the cloud, where you will be able to access them at all times.
If you’re familiar with Google Documents then you will understand the idea behind this app. It will also provide Google with a means to index and catalogue potentially every MP3 file on the planet.
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So Where is the Android Google Music App?
Recent reports indicate that many major music publishers are causing a delay with this app. Apparently the main reason why Apple and Amazon prevent repeat downloads of the same purchased track is because the music industry has blocked this, for some reason treating MP3s (data) as CDs or records (physical goods).
While it is a means of maintaining profit margins, it could also be construed as a case of King Canute trying to hold back the sea.
So while the technology exists, the Google Music for Android app is unlikely to be seen until certain agreements can be made and put in place between Google and the various music industry giants.
However, when the Google Music app does materialise it could prove to be the biggest sea-change in digital music since the arrival of file-sharing in the late 1990s, and if successful it will influence how Apple’s iTunes store operates as well as countless other online digital and MP3 music vendors.
As for Android itself, the presence of the Google Music app might well turn the platform into the default choice for many mobile phone buyers.
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- Author's own experience
- Bylin, Kyle. "When Will We See Google Music?", http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2011/02/02/when-will-we-see-google-music
Image credit: http://www.android.com/branding.html