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About that newly official Google Music

November 17, 2011

Google kicked out the word “beta” from its music service, making it officially called as Google Music. There’s nothing much of surprising new features that could wow us, we’ve already familiar with everything it can do. The new official service lets you buy songs, upload, store, on-line sync, stream and then share those songs. That’s not new, it’s the same service as competitors are offering.

Although there are two features I like, the first one is Artist Hub, this one is a big deal for indie artists who want to sell their albums and songs directly to users. The artists can set up their own page, upload original content, set the price of their songs, and even sell them on YouTube. Google asked $25 for one-time registration fee, and 30 percent cut from the artist’s sales revenue.

Google only managed to signed deals with three big music labels; Sony, EMI and Universal, while Warner Music Group is missing in action. So I believe Google is using Artist Hub not just to fill in the missing gap, but at the same add a unique new feature to make its music service different from competitors.

The second one is the deep integration with Google+, which allow users to share the songs and albums they have bought, not just 90 seconds preview but full one time play. This is great news for those who love to share, and cheapskates, but not for artists and music labels. I’d love to see how this feature will pan out in the future, as more and more Google+ users are sharing songs or albums for anyone for free. It’s a new generation of music sharing.

And one more thing, a little one. During the event, Google proudly stated that 200 million Android devices have been activated. But the company under-stated an important fact that if Android users want to access Google Music, they at least have version 2.2 or higher installed. Which with so many fragmented Android devices out there in the market, the only option is either upgrade (if available) or buy a newer one. Lots of people who have bought old models are going to feel left out and hurt, it’s going to be a huge mess.

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