Google to follow Apple in creating online music social network

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Google is to come out with an online music social network in the middle of November, sources close to Google said. The online store, to be known as Google Music, will be part of Google?s social networking Google +.

Andy Rubin, head of development for Google?s subsidiary Android, said in a conference in Hong Kong, ?I think we are close?, but gave no definite date of when Google Music will be launched. He continued on by saying the service will have a “a little twist ? with a little bit of Google in it”. “We won’t just be selling 99-cent tracks,” he added.

Google Music will not only allow users to buy music from their store, but will scan the hard drive and store all music files, purchased or pirated, online and legal, giving users the amnesty for any illegal music downloaded, as well as, share it with all their friends and family. This kind of software is a mirror of the iCloud, Apple’s cloud service launched on 13 October which rivals the likes of Amazon, Facebook and RIM.

iTunes was established in 2003 and is the first of its kind to let users buy music from a single online platform. Apple faced a lot of hurdles to get the big four music labels in the US to sign up and agree to provide their content on iTunes.

Google is facing similar problems as negotiations with labels such as EMI and Universal Music Group drag on for months without any clear outcome. Analysts fear if Google Music is launched without the backing of the labels, users might be turned off if they can?t find the music they are looking for.

The other two labels, Sony Music Entertainment and Access Industries Inc.’s, are unlikely to sign up with Google in time for the launch, as it has raised concerns over the pirated music that Google has not been able to control on its existing sites and services, such as YouTube and its Android mobile operating system.

Vic Gundotra, Google?s senior vice president in charge of Google +, had a lighter take on the subject in a conference in San Francisco. ?I?m embarrassed I like that one Britney Spears song; I want everyone else to think I like U2. We want social to be done in a way that is more like real life.”

Over the past 3 months, RIM and Facbook have entered the market with their own online music platforms. RIM is still in its testing stages, with their social music service on Blackberry Messenger. Facebook has teamed up with Spotify, and will launch an online version soon.

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