Google is expected to barge into the music industry this afternoon with the launch of its own music locker service, without prior approval from record labels.
The search and ads giant is expected to open up on its locker service at its I/O developer conference, the Wall Street Journal said, citing those omniscient people familiar with the matter.
Google being Google, the service will launch as a beta, allowing users to upload their own music files for listening in streaming mode.
The Journal adds that unlike Amazon's, Google's service will not be linked to a music store – initially anyway. Google bought Canadian music startup Pushlife last month, gaining technology which helps shift iTunes libraries to non-Apple phones, suggesting the firm will at some point be touting the service at mobile devices, while blatantly targeting Apple's (record company approved) music platform.
While the record labels have not given the expected store a licence, or their public approval, the Journal says that many in the industry don't believe this is a block on such a service. Although this does rather depend on which jurisdiction you're pontificating from.
The service, initially, will be relatively frills-free, and will not be open to the general public. Users will not be able to download the files, the Journal says, thus allowing Google to pat itself on the back for not contributing to the spread of pirated music.
Which makes sense, as long as you ignore the existence of YouTube of course. Likewise, the "limited" beta tag is standard practice for Google, and we can expect the service to proliferate like bindweed.
In fact, it's all quite predictable. The only surprise is likely to be which music stars Google pays in to sprinkle a little glamour among the engineers at the expected launch this afternoon.
Feel free to contribute to your ultimate Google playlist in comments. ®