According to CNET, Google will unveil its cloud music service, Music Beta, at the I/O Developer Conference. The free service will be invitation-only (and US-only) at launch, and it will allow users to upload up to 20,000 songs onto Google's servers and stream that music to many web-connected devices.
If all that sounds good to you, here's the monkey wrench: the service won't work on iOS devices, because Google has (perhaps deliberately) hobbled it by requiring support for Flash Player. While this means the service will work on PCs, Macs and some Android devices, any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad owners will be forced to use alternative services, like Amazon's Cloud Player or Apple's presumably forthcoming "iCloud" service.
Like Amazon, Google hasn't secured licensing deals with the major music labels before launching its music streaming service. Unlike Amazon, Google doesn't have its own music store to assist in monetizing that service, and by choosing to utilize Flash in its implementation, Google's also shut out over 100 million potential mobile users from Music Beta. Google, of course, has a "convenient" answer for any iOS users wanting to use Music Beta -- buy an Android device -- but those of us who are unwilling to do so will either flock to Amazon's service or hope that Apple comes out with something superior.