Been dutifully uploading music
to Mountain View's cloud since Google I/O
? Might want hit pause for just a sec, while you tune to Google's beat here in Los Angeles, as it's just gone and launched its own music store integrated with Android Market. Best part is, the service still free, though you can now purchase millions of songs from the store to expand your collection of tunes. 90-second track previews are available, and all songs are high quality 320kbps MP3s.
And for those with an aversion to waiting, which should be all of you, uploads can now be nixed entirely, provided tracks in your possession jive with Google's master copies
. The company is now on equal footing with Cupertino and Amazon's music offerings, who both offer direct sales coupled with a cloud component that allows for unlimited redownloads. Yet it more closely resembles the latter, as unlike the former there isn't a $25 yearly free as all tracks can be streamed for free.
Naturally, a new version of the Google Music app is already available in the Android Market, and a fresh look for Music Manager will follow in the next few hours. Unsurprisingly, Google Music sans beta brings tight integration with Google +. You can now share songs on your friend stream, and not just samples, either -- your buddies can listen to full tracks or albums one time through without ever leaving your profile.
There is no matching function to the new Google Music, so uploads are still a part of the equation, though the service does sync your songs across devices once you've sent them to the cloud.