This is it! You've arrived! But it's a little early. Fret not, though, as you can bookmark this very page and return at the time shown below in order to join in on the liveblogging mayhem. We'll be bringing you every last point as it's unveiled in Los Angeles this evening (or afternoon, whatever), with Google Music firmly in our heart and T-Mobile looming over everything. It's going to be loony. %Gallery-139636%
November 16, 2011 5:00:00 PM EST
6:02PM We'll be prodding for more -- for now, we'd recommend hitting up music.google.com to get going, or if you're outside of the US, consult your nearest proxy man. As always, thanks for tuning in! Couldn't do it with you. Until next time...
5:59PM Also, this is going to seriously strain those data limits. Talk about the most imperfect time ever for carriers to start putting a lid on data usage -- but hey, them's the breaks.
5:58PM Looks like most mainstream songs are listed between $0.99 and $1.29. We asked Google if there was an ETA on carrier billing (for T-Mobile, and other carriers), and if there was *anything* they could tell us about more labels buying it or when this would escape US borders. The answer? "If we had anything else to say, we would've said it [laughs]." Ack!
5:54PM By the way, there's no Warner Music Group here, and a few of the other "major guys" are missing. Hard to say how long it'll take the holdouts to buy in, but Google clearly thinks it has enough pull to launch. Strangely, there's no streaming option (think Pandora or Spotify) -- it's a la carte only, like iTunes.
5:50PM And that's a wrap! We'll be poking around here trying to get answers to your burning questions -- drop 'em in comments below!
5:49PM Users can share on Google+, and it's super clear that T-Mobile is highly important in launching this. Still no ETA on carrier billing, though. That said, "Google Music is now open for business." (Again, for Americans.)
5:49PM Here's the recap: 200 million Android activations worldwide, and Music will offer 20,000 songs to be stored for free. Still no size limit -- booya!
5:48PM Pretty crazy to hear a carrier being pumped about taking on a service that'll hammer their networks. Sure wish the other carriers will well-equipped enough to say the same...
5:47PM Free, exclusive content will be hitting T-Mobile customers. Tracks from Drake, Maroon 5, Busta Rhymes, and other artists to be announced later. Free tracks will be shot out to T-Mob customers "throughout the rest of the year."
5:47PM Hah, "a fast 4G network" is being talked up frequently. That's HSPA+, in case you're looking for clarity.
5:46PM T-Mobile recognizes that there will be "an explosion of data" when people start looking to mobile networks to consumer multimedia. Things like mobile audio and video. Audio makes up 15 percent of T-Mobile USA's data traffic already, but the spokesperson here seems amped to see how much that skyrockets. Quite the different tune...
5:45PM 75 percent of T-Mobile's phones sold today are smartphones, and of that, 90 percent run Android. Pretty similar to figures we heard a few months ago.
5:44PM "Coming very soon, T-Mobile customers will be able to pay for Music purchases directly through their phone bill, just like they can already for Android apps." Carrier billing! Here's hoping that spreads to other carriers, too. And AT&T, if T-Mobile gets swallowed.
5:43PM "Tremendous support from carriers and partners." T-Mobile's getting props for launching the G1 initially, and now it's back to celebrate this launch.
5:43PM Jamie's coming back to talk up "a very important partner in bringing music to fans."
5:42PM The Google Music Store is "built into Android," and artists can sign up at music.google.com/artists. Huzzah!
5:42PM The artist page looks exactly like an app page, but with track listings, a bio in place of an app description, etc. Really slick, familiar interface.
5:42PM Lots of searching for Monogold. We're guessing they're amped.
5:41PM Google's also working with YouTube (shocker, it owns YouTube!) to help artists sell against music videos over there, too.
5:41PM Artists keep 70 percent of all sales -- no other upload fees, etc. This allows artists to upload music whenever they see fit. Demo material, live recordings, etc. They can even change pricing or album details at any time whatsoever.
5:40PM The next step: artists will upload their original content, input metadata (genre, pricing, etc.), and Google allows artists to control how previews work. That's 90-second previews, free previews, or even unlimited free plays within the Google Music Store. All songs include a single free play to friends.
5:39PM Here's a walkthrough of what it's like for budding artists. When they enter the hub, they'll search for their page (that's a one-time fee of $25, by the way) -- kind of the same theory behind the one-time Android Developer fee if you want to use Google to hawk your Android apps.
5:39PM "It's not every day that you get a massive search engine turning things into a more even playing field for independent artists." Their words, not ours.
5:38PM You can let users "listen to your whole album for free," add links to YouTube, etc. Artists are talking up the ease of discovery -- "people won't have to search as hard."
5:37PM Monogold, Bird Call and Shinobi Ninja just went from independent to 'a notch above independent.'
5:36PM It'll allow artists to customize their artist page, upload their original content, set their own prices and sell their songs. A few independent artists have been briefed on it, and we're watching a demo now on their reactions. We're guessing they'll love it. As opposed to not loving it.
5:36PM Now we're talking about using Google Music to expand reach for up-and-coming artists. There's a new Artist Hub that enables music to show up in the Android Market.
5:34PM There's also live albums from Shakira and Dave Matthews, all free, starting today. (For Americans.)
5:34PM Coldplay's dishing a 5-track LP from the recent Madrid show. Busta Rhymes is also on the docket, and he's actually at the event today. He's debuting his new studio album exclusively on Google Music, with the first track available for *free* starting today.
5:33PM "The Rolling Stones, six never-before-released concerts!"
5:33PM Google's talking up "another set of partnerships" to give folks a reason to try Google Music now. Basically, it's exclusive music and free tracks from select artists.
5:32PM By the way, that was from Rob Wells, president of Universal Music's Global Digital Business department. Hold him to it!
5:32PM Universal expects this to be "a rich new revenue stream for our artists." Whoa, he also just said he's excited about "the global rollout" of this across all Android devices. Nice! So, global's coming? Shame there's no ETA...
5:31PM Now we've got three bigshots from EMI, Universal and Sony. Pretty canned speeches -- lots of back-patting, lots of praise, lots of "being immensely pleased."
5:30PM That just about seals it -- Google *definitely* wanted to give this presentation back at Google I/O, but just didn't have the right deals in place. Kudos on getting it together -- later is definitely better than never.
5:29PM Ah, ha! Content partners! Universal, EMI Music and Sony Music Entertainment. Also, there's a load of indie labels onboard -- things like ThrillJocket, Merge, believe. All told, they have access to over 1,000 labels, or 13 million songs. "Around 8 million of these are live today."
5:28PM Now we're diving deeper into Recommendations from Friends, which -- according to Google -- is a huge driver IRL.
5:28PM It requires Android 2.2 and the newest version of Android Market. A new version of the Music app is out now in the Android Market, and a new version of Music Manager will be flushing out "in the next few hours." Sounds like every ounce of this will hit American users by the end of the day. Really a huge bummer for our international friends, though. Darn those record labels.
5:27PM On Google+, it'll show up in friend streams, and they can play entire tracks without ever leaving the Google+ profile. Whenever you purchase an entire album, friends can listen (a single time) to that entire album for free. Huge! No word on Facebook integration, though.
5:26PM Here's a demo on recommending and sharing the music you just purchased. "Not only will they see your recommendations in the stream, they'll get a free, full stream (not a sample) of the song. No one has ever done this before." Huge! They get a single, full listen to a full track if you recommend it to them. We're guessing artists are probably in love with the idea, too.
5:25PM Ha, one of the reasons that Coldplay decided on its new album name (Mylo Xyloto) because before it was announced, it returned no results in Google. Guess that's changed today.
5:24PM We're having a peek at Coldplay's page, and there's even an exclusive Google Music interview with the band awaiting users. Totally free to view, by the way.
5:24PM Wow, Google's going well above the call of duty by even offering up suggestions from Google staffers. That's pretty tight company-to-user outright. Kudos, Goog.
5:23PM Just like Amazon, there's a "Free Song Of The Day" each day. David Bowie is kicking things off!
5:23PM Here's a walkthrough of Music Store in Android Market. Looks super, super slick at a glance! Fits right into the Market motif.
5:22PM It can be played on the web, or any other device. You can download the track right from the browser, or using the Manager software that's used to upload your tracks to Music.
5:22PM On Android, you'll get a notice if any new music is added, and if you want to close a circle of recommendations, it's just a click. Here's a deeper dive into sharing. We're starting with the web player at music.google.com.
5:21PM Everything in the store has 90 second previews, and every single track is a 320kbps MP3. Nice!
5:21PM So here's a pal, magically up on stage. He literally just materialized.
5:21PM Every artist page has a 'similar artist' section to help you find new music based on "your entire collection, not just the music you buy." It's the same AI that powers Instant Mix. But, here's an even better aide -- friends.
5:20PM Heh, Coldplay's up on the main screen. You know, the dudes who are totally against being streamed on Spotify.
5:19PM Whoa, you can buy "millions of songs" right from the Android Market!
5:19PM By the way, he clarified that the 200 million figure from earlier includes tablets and phones.
5:19PM Ooh! New integration with Android Market!
5:19PM The changes in playlists, ratings, etc. -- regardless of where you make the changes -- are mirrored everywhere else.
5:18PM Hey! We're listening to a Robots playlist! Just sign in with your Google Account, and you're streaming Daft Punk. Fairly sure we've just died and gone to heaven -- and evidently, the "folks in Building 44" have as well.
5:18PM He's showing off a familiar user interface. Now, users can upload by playlist, and there's a new option to automatically continue adding songs as the playlist grows. An HTC Amaze 4G has emerged to help demonstrate things.
5:17PM Google's pointing out that it's super convenient to play tracks on any browser, "even the one on iOS." True enough.
5:16PM Ha, "other services" think you need to pay for these things. Zing! (But really, we're comparing desserts to Apples, here.)
5:16PM It's still totally free! Store and stream 20,000 songs for zilch. Head to music.google.com to sign up!
5:15PM Jamie's talking up a few talking points (shocker, right)? Today, it opens up to *everyone* in the United States, no invite required.
5:15PM Hello, Google Music! (no beta) It's official!
5:14PM In May, there was 100 million Android devices in the world. Today, there's 200 million Android devices worldwide. 550,000 new activations are being added each day.
5:14PM Google has distributed over a million songs during the beta period. Heh, sure sounds like he's saying "beta period" as if it's in the past...
5:13PM He's reminding us about Music Beta by Google, which launched at Google I/O earlier in the year. Here's a little about what Google learned -- people love having access to things instantly, without worrying over storage space, and folks have streamed music for an average of 2.5 hours each day who were invited into the service.
5:13PM He's talking up high-speed networks, social networks, mobile platforms -- all of which can "dramatically improve the digital music experience."
5:12PM Oh, really? Let's hear it, Google! Here comes Jamie Rosenberg, the Director of Digital Content within Android.
5:11PM Google says "There's another way."
5:11PM Ah! It's on! Here's a record player video photo: "Remember when your music revolved around you? But lately, it seems to be spinning out of control on computers, MP3 players, phones..."
5:07PM By the way, if you haven't noticed, the event's running a little behind. It *should* be streaming soon to those who'd like to follow along via video here: https://www.youtube.com/android
5:06PM Oh, look at this guy. Hmm.
5:01PM By the way, we passed a full-on band as we waltzed in. Again, no chance this is about Google Music. In fact, a quick survey of the crowd confirms that it's probably something to do with biomedicine.
5:00PM Ah, an Android rocking out. That confirms it: this event is most definitely not about Google Music.
4:59PM It's looking super artsy up here. Lots of graffiti. Lots of street music. Actually, what is street music? Fairly sure we just made that up.
4:56PM Just so you know, we've got the one and only Myriam Joire on the camera rig. Give 'er a shout in comments!
4:55PM And we're in! Tighter than a tick in here, but we're all friends. Yes, we met everyone. And now our Contacts list is pushing every known technical limit.