It’s been a quietly busy last few days for Google and Google Music. This past Monday, the Internet search titan announced plans to roll out what it refers to as a scan-and-match feature for its music service in Europe in just two weeks, and then in the United States soon after. Google had originally planned to announce the new feature on Monday in New York at a press event, where they had also planned to introduce the latest version of their Android operating system, but eventually cancelled the event due to the concerns and damage done by Hurricane Sandy.
The term “scan-and-match” refers to a process where a user’s music can be stored on the computer servers of a host service. That service then stream songs over the Internet to the user’s choice of Web-connected music players. One of the biggest supposed benefits of scan-and-match is that it saves the user from having to upload individual track to the host’s servers. Google recently announced in a blog post that their scan-and-match service would be available in Europe beginning November 13, and in the U.S. later down the line.
What’s even bigger about this story is that Google apparently plans to offer this service to its users for free, in direct competition with Amazon and Apple, both of which offer similar services for $25. In a report on this story from CNET.com, story author Greg Sandoval called this announcement “an arms race in online music to offer consumers cheaper music and more conveniences,” with Google, Apple and Amazon all standing at the forefront of said race.
Additionally, Google announced an end to a yearlong feud with Warner Music Group. When Google Music first launched, it did so without the catalog of Warner, but this disagreement looks like it might soon be over, giving Google a serious one-up in terms of the fight for digital music service supremacy.
And not to be outdone in the tablet space either, Google announced today that it would launch the Nexus 10 tablet and music service to directly compete with Apple’s iPad and iTunes store. Scheduled to hit stores this coming November, and just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Nexus 10 will be the first in include Google’s “Play” music service, which itself will allow users to sync up to 20,000 tracks they already own with any internet-connected device as well as buy tracks online in the same way that they can from Apple iTunes.
The competition for the support of the everyday online music consumer is heating up seriously, and Google seems to be throwing a lot of its weight behind specialized devices and services, hoping to take a big bite out of the market share that Apple has enjoyed for so long.Google+