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Google Music Store Inches Closer?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the launch-it-already dept.

282

smallguy78 writes "Forbes is once again reporting on Google plans to launch its own competitor to iTunes, a Google music store. From the article: 'The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services.'" We have touched on this subject previously. This most recent report would seem to indicate the launch will happen sooner rather than later.

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282 comments

Google's first serious misstep? (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057741)

From the Fine Article:

"The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services," wrote the analyst in a recent report.

One of two things has to give here: either the music industry's unhappiness is sustained because Google has enough principle to do on-line music equitably (which, by definition will be unhappiness for the music industry); or Google capitulates and in the process violates their "Do No Evil" credo.

This could be a misstep for Google if they appear to be in the pockets of an increasingly strident and miserable music industry. Please let them do the right thing.

Of course, for the gazillionth time, the only right way to do this is unencumbered media. Hey, I can hope.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (3, Funny)

koweja (922288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057815)

Or Google can simply use the pricing model that they think will make the most money, even if that means doing what the industry wants. Google does what they want, Apple does what they want. Then we find out who is right and who is dead.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (5, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057828)

I see this as a great opportunity. But Google will only ever have the same leverage that Apple has over the Majors. What we really need, is Google (or another well-publicized company) to become a music label. They have the guts to do their own promotion, they can distribute non-DRM stuff and they can easily attract existing well-known artists with attractive deals.

This IMO is the only short-term hope against the majors.

Basically, we need a Good Guy (TM) with deep pockets to raise a middle finger to the majors.

However, I fear this is not going to happen anytime soon.

--
XviD review [palmdrive.net]

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058385)

I don't understand why the music companies don't all just make their own sites that are user friendly like i-tunes. Then they can track customers, like you mentioned.

I don't think so (2, Interesting)

Drog (114101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057868)

I think most consumers will simply see this as another place where you can download music. The prices and file formats will be different, but that's about it.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (4, Interesting)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057930)

what is it with the childlike obsession wih the "do no evil" credo? It's kind of absurd.

if you have a gmail account, they're probably doing evil with your consumer preferences right now.

re: a music store. Oooooooooooh, a shiny new music store. How innovative, Google. They're like eight years too late with that.

It's a misstep for google to be opening a music store.

As of yet, they don't have a million subscribers for gmail. if they do, they've passed that threshold so recently that there is little info on it. they haven't passed a million subscribers to gtalk either. they haven't shown any uptake for any of their products other than google, which means the general audience is either unaware of their consumer efforts and/or uninterested.

I've used Microsoft Live ... and it's a pretty good integrated suite, a bit better than google offers... already, and Live is in true beta - like less than a year beta as opposed to fifth year senior beta.

looking at the world through google glasses is to obscure the reality. YouTube is eating Google Video's lunch. they only hold the search engine market - and deeper pocket will continue to assial them from all sides.

In your parlance, they'll need to do boatloads of evil just to SURVIVE.

Google = fairy tales for adults. They're just some guys who turned a graduate project into some cash folks. Relax.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (0)

xenoterracide (880092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058054)

Hi Steve. Posting on Slashdot again? No chairs this time?

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (3, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058062)

I'm far from a Google fanboy, but you're full of bullshit.

re: a music store. Oooooooooooh, a shiny new music store. How innovative, Google. They're like eight years too late with that.

It's a misstep for google to be opening a music store.


Ooooh, a search engine! How innovative, Google. I mean, given Yahoo!, Altavista and what not, a *search* engine?

Gmail? Another email?! How innovative, Google! They're like, what, 30 years late? Or 40 years late? But from what I see, most people who've used Gmail hardly ever tend to use anything else.

Ever strike you that the million users that *mail has might be - just *might be* - because they don't have spammers signing up for thousands fake addresses?

Sheesh.

Remember that first mover advantage is very limited and very short lived. First movers may sometimes make it big, but the ones that come later also have the ability to not do your mistakes and improve upon what you've already built upon.

And they know that there exists a market that they can tap into, which is more than what the first mover had.

If you take anything that Google's done (Search, Maps, News, Email, IM), they've taken what others have done it and tried perfecting it. A much better idea than finding new niche markets.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058066)

The obsession stems from this site's tendency to attract a certain sort of people with naively optimistic viewpoints of the world. Google spouts some tripe about not doing evil, and people need to hold up something in the world as Very Good (because we all know who is Very Evil around here) to create [a poor excuse for] a belief system.

Really, there's no other way to explain such a dogmatic (read: faith-based) defense that people put up on behalf of a faceless corporation.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058093)

Agreed!!!! It's the same dogmatism that strikes down ID swiftly and flames anyone who espouse religious affiliation to oblivion.

Yet, there is search engine worship.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (2, Insightful)

KarateExplosions (959215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058226)

No, it's "naivette" that prompts worship for a corporation. It's "science" and "reality" that strikes down ID as any kind of scientific theory. Thanks for playing.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058380)

science and reality - they've never struck down worship for a corporation though, right?

like a corporation in a lot of markets in which it makes little money? An overvalued corporation that makes the critical mass of its money off advertising?!?!?!?! (lol) in a market where others will steadily squeeze them out by virtue of huge cash stores and a lack of reliance on the search engine revenue stream? Because their answer to Live is GooglePack???? Because google talk can't attract the audience advertisers would most like to advertise to? Lol. Reality has never struck down that worship though, right?

Lol. Are you serious?

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (1)

szrachen (913408) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058181)

Well, if Microsoft Live actually worked correctly in Firefox, maybe I'd try it more. But the inability to close their pop-outs is pretty silly. Hence, if they can't get browser interoperability in there, they've lost me. Even though I could just open an IE window.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058095)

I don't see how a pricing model can be described as "evil". The on-line music market is fairly mature. There are lots of competitors all bidding for the consumer's currency. To introduce a new service, with an "alternative" pricing model to competitors, is just that - introducing an alternative. The market will decide whether the new way of pricing is suitable or not. It could only be "evil" in terms of taking money away from artists and giving it to Big Music - but with Google's huge storage capabilities & whatnot, who's to say that they won't introduce a music store for every budding artist, signed or unsigned? They have the e-mail service, they have the web-page creator, they even have somewhere to host videos. This could be great for the struggling bedroom artists.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (2, Insightful)

Khammurabi (962376) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058124)

I think it's less of the "first misstep", than the latest in a series of missteps by Google.

Google has good intentions, but I think it's mistaken in believing it can keep launching service after service after service and be the leader in each. I'm really wishing Google would pull back and focus on a few key business plans, instead of half completing 1000 of them. Google's lack of focus is going to cost them pretty soon when smaller companies start focusing on the business plans that Google is getting lax on.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058188)

If Google decides to go along with music industry pricing, how does that benefit the music industry any more than Napster or other online stores that have bent to their will? As long as iTMS is still around and still pricing their music the same way, the public will still decide which pricing model they prefer.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15058323)

I have a comment though. I am actually not not happy with the iTunes concept of single pricing. I think 1$ per song is waayyyy too expensive for a song. Second, I don't give a damn about contemporary mainstream music. My preferences are better served by a variable price store. If you're into mainstream and actually think that "A" song is worth 1$... feel free to feed the beast. But at that's the kind of price per song that I would only pay to live performers, not recording. Wheter they are street performers, or theatre performers, I'm willing to pay them more than a lousy recording.

Re:Google's first serious misstep? (1)

aztec rain god (827341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058384)

If the music industry is unhappy with fixed prices, why don't they stop fixing them? Oh, that's right, they're a cartel! Nothing quite like being irrational and acting in a manner that runs counter to self-interest.

Dynamic Pricing Based on Plays (4, Interesting)

RunFatBoy.net (960072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057761)

If Google launched their own player along with the store, I could envision a pricing model that based the price of the songs on the number of plays it was receiving from its purchasers.

Over time, the cost of this track would become less and less and all of the "filler" tracks would slide fairly rapidly.

Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] -- Exercise for the rest of us.

Re:Dynamic Pricing Based on Plays (1)

swb (14022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058044)

They could make dynamic pricing work, but it would work better if Google hosted the music library and playlists (another thing they've demonstrated mastery of). But the bugger with pay-per-play is that people expect their media to be portable to devices and places where counting plays doesn't work.

I think people generally expect to "own" music and video, which seems to eliminate most of Googles strengths.

I have a good idea? (5, Funny)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057764)

Probably, filtering out stories who's headline ends with a question mark would augment the overall quality of the Slashdot content and, especially, the headlines.

O RLY? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058099)

Ya RLY.

[Insert Picture of The Owl Here]

Oh, great. (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057775)

Now, Britney Spears will have to resort to Google bombing to increase her sales...

Inches closer... (3, Funny)

butterwise (862336) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057784)

This headline reminds me of the "Far Side" strip where two cavemen are standing outside of their cave with a glacier wall just inches away, and one of the cavemen is saying, "Say, Thag, wall of ice closer today?"

I can see a version of this strip where the cavemen are Steve Jobs/Apple and the glacier is Google...

Re:Inches closer... (1)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058271)

Nah. the cavemen are the chief executives of the major record labels, and the glacier is electronic distribution. Apple and probably Google will be supplanted by companies selling unencumbered digital downloads in standard formats for competitive prices, even if the music library from the major labels is unavailable. It'll take 10-15 years, but it's bound to happen, and major labels will be left wondering where they went wrong...

Re:Inches closer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15058358)

Stewie: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

what format? (4, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057785)

Of course there's no mention of file format. Since the audio players out there generally play some combination of MP3, AAC, and WMA, it's only reasonable to assume that the store will sell in one of those formats. Since we know it will need DRM to make the labels happy, that pretty much narrows it down to PlaysForSure WMA. If that's the case, there're already plenty of competitors out there. What will make this store different from Rhapsody, Yahoo, Napsters, etc?

Re:what format? (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057869)

That's the killer right there. AAC is pretty much only supported on iPods, but if you have an iPod, and you're going to buy online music, you might as well go through iTunes. WMA is more standard, but I don't think iPod plays it, so it's dead in the water. MP3 works on just about everything, but has no DRM. Maybe they will go DRM Free. CDs are DRM Free, and people are allowed to sell those, what's really stopping a company from selling DRM Free downloads. A company as popular as google might have the size to convince the labels that DRM isn't needed if you charge the right price.

Re:what format? (1)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058009)

How is one closed/propriatary DRM scheme "more standard" than any other?

Re:what format? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058243)

Standard as in "De facto" standard. Like MS Windows or MS Word. It's not really a standard per se, but supported by a large number of vendors and available to most users.

Re:what format? (0, Troll)

n8_f (85799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058290)

How is one closed/propriatary DRM scheme "more standard" than any other?

Because Microsoft is bigger than Apple; therefore, everything Microsoft does is "more standard" than anything Apple (or any other company) does. This falls under the specialized field of "monopoly logic."

Re:what format? (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058300)

"How is one closed/propriatary DRM scheme "more standard" than any other?"

For the simple reason that you can buy a bunch of different players that'll play the format. Next question?

Re:what format? (2, Informative)

dsgitl (922908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058090)

Emusic [emusic.com] sells un-DRMed mp3 files. They have a broad collection of minor label bands, defunct record labels (like sun), and current indie hits.

They don't have much, if any, of current major pop music. However, they're still a worthwhile option for music downloads.

Re:what format? (1)

durdur (252098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058389)

Very worthwhile, IMO. Their selection isn't bad - depends
on what you want. For the stuff I mostly listen to (reggae,
blues, classic rock), I have found plenty to download. And
it's around $0.40 a track or so.

Re:what format? (1)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057929)

It would be interesting if Google's music was 'iPod compatible' in some way.

Finally, iTunes would have some competition.

Re:what format? (1)

woodlouse_man (903301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058153)

http://www.7digital.com/ [7digital.com] provides some songs in AAC that are iPod compatible.

They are encoded at 192Kbps and are unencumbered by any DRM - but sadly they cost 99p as opposed to iTunes' 79p.

They are also few and far between - generally from labels that don't mind the lack of DRM (the indies).

I've bought a few things from them or their affiliate shops (the recent Embrace single Nature's Law had a digital download only part to it that you can buy via their website) and on the whole they're pretty good - better quality than iTunes anyway.

That said, I shall probably still use iTunes for legal until someone (like Google?) offer me the following

  • Downloads with no DRM
  • A choice of file format and bit rate
  • The excellent free Single of the Week

This last option is one of the things about iTunes I absolutely love - I've got pretty much every one since I signed up 18 months ago, so that's over 75 free tracks. I've actually purchased a couple of albums off the backs of these freebies (CD copy though - sorry Apple!).

Who said you can't get something for nothing, eh?

Re:what format? (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057944)

Maybe if they came up with a better tool?

I mean, in all honesty, iTunes sucks. It's absolutely unusable and has a nasty habit of messing things up ever so often (sometimes I wonder what the hue and cry about Apple software is, but I digress).

If Google could come up with a better software (and I'm sure that if anyone can, it would be them), something that's not just for downloading music, but also to sync up with MP3 players, it would be a good selling point for Google.

Remember - iTunes started off with iPod, and that largely helped the iTunes Music Store kick off.

If that were to happen, Google could potentially steal away a lot of iPod users who would buy music elsewhere to come to their store. Well, except the typical MacHeads.

Re:what format? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058067)

...It's absolutely unusable
You're having difficulty with the iTunes interface? Granted, if you're trying to copy music from shared computers or convert everything to WMA or something you're going to have trouble, but it's rare that I find people who can't figure out how to load music on their Ipod, purchase music from the store, or find and play any song in their collection with iTunes.

That's not to say there isn't room for improvement. I'd love to be able to syncronize the libraries of various versions of iTunes installed on the same network, especially between operating systems that have different rules for escaping foreign characters on the filesystem. IMHO, it's already better than 95% of it's competitors, especially the ones that companies like Sony force you to use if you want to use their hardware. Even if the Google player is better, if it can't sync an iPod it's going to be an also-ran.

Re:what format? (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058197)

If I was doing simple tasks (i.e. buy a song online, load it to my iPod and play music), it's easy.

However, I was talking about ripping CDs and attempting to categorize music. The thing is, I want my music player to be my music library, and iTunes is a lousy library.

I've the habit of putting music from various artists in folders, and iTunes does not even have the option of sorting it by the path. And of course, sorting by file names does not work very well, either. Heck, I cannot even move files around in the playlists. If I move files around manually, iTunes barfs. And I have to reload my library everytime there is a change. I've had several bad experiences trying to rip and burn CDs using iTunes, don't even get me started on that.

Combine this with lack of good keyboard shorcuts and the like, and you have a mediocre player at best. Anyhow, that's all IMHO, of course. :)

Re:what format? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15058341)

Wow, you must be absolutely befuddled by MS Word, any web browser or getting dressed in the morning.

Re:what format? (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058280)

And oh, if I took my iPod to another machine, it automatically wipes out all the content - WTF?!

So, this means that I ought to have the exact music that I have on my desktop at my work machine, else iTunes simply has trouble grokking the fact that people might have music in more than one place.

I can't just add music from my desktop at home, take it to work, and add some more songs.

Of course, I could keep going on about why iTunes sucks, but this is just for starters.

Re:what format? (1)

balloot (943499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058241)

If iTunes is "unusable," what IS usable?

Re:what format? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058371)

If iTunes is "unusable," what IS usable?

Emacs!

Re:what format? (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058170)

.goo

Re:what format? (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058203)

"Since we know it will need DRM to make the labels happy, that pretty much narrows it down to PlaysForSure WMA."

Do we really know that the record labels are still hung up on DRM? The most potent DRM schemes don't seem to be going over well with consumers, and the DRM-lite found in iTunes isn't doing much, if anything, to stop piracy. When Steve Jobs first went to the music industry about the iTunes store they had been sold on Microsoft's DRM snake oil and he managed to talk them down to a saner solution, sp maybe two years later Larry and Sergei can talk them into going DRM-free. I'm not expecting it to actually happen, but at this point I wouldn't really be surprised if it did.

On what device? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057788)

Afaik, Apple won't allow non fairplay DRM on their ipod .. so I ask on what device will this music play on?

How many people are going to want to have two devices, one to play their hundreds of dollars in itunes music (that only plays on ipod) and another to play songs purchased from Google.

Anyway if they end up using an Open DRM format .. I know I'd be happy with 'em.

why google will fail it (4, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057796)

>"The music industry is broadly unhappy..."

hence why customers are broadly happy with iTunes - it's FAIR!

Re:why google will fail it (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057845)

iTunes takes away less rights than typical DRM and it's already considered "fair"... the record companies should be thanking god on their knees for that!

Re:why google will fail it (1)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057860)

hence why customers are broadly happy with iTunes - it's FAIR!

I don't think it is that fair, it is incredible that the record companies get as big a share of the cake as they do, now that they are not handling the distribution any more.

With the great savings that come from electronic distribution I was hoping for substantial reductions in price for consumers, increased royalties for the artists, and diminished significance/compensation for the record companies. So far this hasn't happened.

Tor

Re:why google will fail it (2, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057934)

It will never happen. The only way to beat them is to not play their game. Independent or self-publishing and independent+electronic distribution are the keys.

On-line indie stores? (2, Insightful)

bri2000 (931484) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058192)

Actually I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.

I've just finished reading Simon Reynolds' very interesting history of the British post-punk scene "Rip It Up And Start Again". There are sections in there discussing the indie labels like Rough Trade, Mute, Stiff and others which were set up and funded by enthusiasts. This was a world where music could only be distributed physically on casette or vinyl which presented huge barriers to entry. Yet these people not only overcame them they ushered in arguably the most creative period for British music since the 60s and created a few big stars along the way (whom they gave a fair share of the royalties to, no advances with profits being split 50/50 after the cost of pressing the records had been recovered).

How much easier would it be to set up something similar today when semi-pro and even pro quality recording equipment is so much cheaper and physical distribution is almost irrelevant? Yet, as least so far as I can tell, no one is trying this? Why is there no equivalent of the Rough Trade shop on-line entering into pure distribution deals with new bands to allow them to sell downloads without a record deal and enriching our lives by introducing us to stuff we probably wouldn't have heard otherwise? Not to mention encouraging (and possibly making commercially viable) the sort of experimentation which history has shown time and again is the best way for music to evolve both artistically and commercially.

Hmmmm (1)

popetty (950274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057797)

Stop teasing! I want my google OS already!

Re:Hmmmm (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057892)

If you really want Google OS, download Ubuntu Linux. Seriously! I have had the privelage of talking to one of the guys who works in the Google Labs (he was also one of the guys who created subversion)and he stated that Google uses a highly customized version of Ubuntu. The customized version of Ubuntu is mostly used by their engineers as it has standardized programming software and other tweaks for the Google network. The person I talked with also stated that Google has no plans to release a Google OS to the public at this time.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Insightful)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058267)

I can second that last part... I'm friends with an API developer at Google, and my boss is friends with someone higher-up in marketing... both have told us that Google has no plans for an OS.

and why should they? 2 years from now, no one is going to care about what OS you are running, anyway. We will have true Windows emmulation on OS X shortly, and WINE seems to do great things for windows apps under linux... pretty soon your choice of OS isn't going to matter in terms of what software you can run.

Beyond that, we are heading towards a service-based model, which moves us away from the OS as a productivity space anyway. Google would do better to put their efforts into these services than mucking about with an OS and fighting a (probably loosing) battle with MS on that front. Better to take the fight to the internet, where they are stronger anyway.

Prediction (3, Funny)

LividBlivet (898817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057806)

$60 / month for up to 12 DRM laden, non transferrable 128kbps windows audio files. If the labels are dictating the terms you know the deal will suck ass.

Server Centric? (2, Insightful)

ikejam (821818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057820)

Going by google's general productline, gTunes[:-s] could be a server centric music player - only problem is that'l fall flat on its face.

Still if it does come out, I expect Google to fit it in with its 'organise the world's information' line.

Perhaps just using their search algorithm to find the music you want to buy is enough.. perhaps...

Product Name (4, Funny)

alexhs (877055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057863)

Going by google's general productline, gTunes[:-s] could be a server centric music player

I guess you meant Gtunes *Beta* :-)

The Missing Link Found? (5, Funny)

TEMMiNK (699173) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057821)

Perhaps the eternally elusive missing link has been found...

Step 1. Anything

Step 2. Google

Step 3. Profit!

I donno... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057936)

1. Get Underpants

2. Google

3. Profit

I just don't see how "underpants+google=profit" What is Google going to do with underpants?! Sure, they could wear the underpants, but I don't see why they'd purchase used underpants from Gnomes when they can buy new underpants by Froogling it.

And then... (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058147)

Don't forget:

Step 4. Evil!!!

Will we be able to search by humming a tune? (0, Offtopic)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057838)

Google could be able to include advanced searching functionality into such a site, making it extremely useful. Imagine, for instance, the ability to hum a few chords of a song you just heard on the radio, but don't know the name of or the singer. They could find the song, or at least potential matches, and offer them up for sale.

That alone could give them a massive edge over Apple, Sony, and other online music retailers. It is a very difficult task to do well, but it may be within Google's reach, considering all the talent they have working for them.

here comes the hmm (0)

megacia (534566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058102)

Did you mean: The Beatles - Here Comes the Sun

Only once piece of the picture... (2, Interesting)

webword (82711) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057851)

How does the music store interact with players, especially the iPod?

Can users easily manage their music libraries?

What kind of file formats will be available?

Overall, the article makes it sound like Google is very focused on the music industry. I understand this to a point, but Google's users won't be too happy if the music industry seems like it is in too much control. Users are willing to pay, but they expect a certain level of freedom and choice. The user experience is at least as crucial as buy in from the music industry. Or, in other words, Google needs to consider both supply and demand.

OMFG (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057874)

This is news for nerds and the headline is using the imperial system? Metric, please, metric.

The music industry is broadly unhappy (3, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057877)

Is there anything that pleases the music industry? I am simply tired of reading about these whining gazillionaires.

Content is only king...if people can see/hear it. (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057939)

The labels are coming to the realization that content is only as strong as your means of distributing it. They spent so much time and energy trying to corner the physical delivery of media that digital distribution has mostly passed them by. If Apple and some of the other digital distributors can draw a line in the sand and stick to their guns, the labels will have to play ball...or they can sit on the sidelines and watch as their physical media distribution model withers on the vine and try to starve out the digital distributors. Given the level of greed and focus on short-term profits in the music industry, I don't see a "strike" in their future. They'll blink first.

Re:Content is only king...if people can see/hear i (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057986)

I agree, they have to come to the realization that the times have changed and so does the distribution model. Now if they can only sign artists that actually play instruments and write their own songs, they might actually have something to look forward to.

Re:The music industry is broadly unhappy (2, Funny)

ureshii_akuma (745410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058048)

You will be happy to hear that I have it on good auhority there is something that quite pleases the music industry! What is this wonderful thing? Why, it is nothing more than screwing! Be it screwing artists, screwing customers, screwing the public domain, or screwing your congress-person in exchange for legislation to feed their habit, those wacky music industrials just can't get enough!

Google music? (1)

fusto99 (939313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057894)

If Google starts selling MP3s, I might actually start paying for my MP3s. Well, maybe not, too expensive. Maybe I'll just use my Google stock dividends to pay for them. Who knows?

Name? (3, Funny)

scarlac (768893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057905)

Introducing "Goosic" or what about... "Moosic"... or something as wonderful as "Mugoosicgle"?

Or how about something that just as describing as "Ekiga", which is real easy to remember.

Sarcasm intended.

Oblig. Futurama response (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058233)

Zoidberg: They're tastier than an unguarded penguin nest. What do you call them?
Leela: We haven't thought of a name yet.
Bender: They're tasty, right? Let's call 'em "Tasticles".
Hermes: *gasp*
Amy: Ew!
Farnsworth: No!
Leela: We can't call them that.
Bender: Why not?
Leela: It sounds too much like those frozen Rocky Mountain oysters on a stick. You know, "Testsicles"?

Doubleplusungood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057909)


'The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services.'


OK. We all know that they aren't unhappy because older titles aren't deeply discounted to keep up volume. They are unhappy because new titles aren't sold at a premium. The music industry sees the current pricing model as THE FLOOR. It can only get more expensive from here.

Sorry Google, there will be no market for the same thing, only more expensive. (and the music industry won't dare tell Apple to shove it 'till Google proves that they can replace them)

Who wants the service - industry or consumer? (5, Insightful)

dougman (908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057910)

When I read the comment pulled from the article:

"The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services."

I thought to myself, "If the music industry is broadly unhappy, then Apple is probably doing something right."

What we should be hearing is how Google is stepping up to offer alternative services that address a gap that consumers are experiencing. Instead that quote would indicate that Google is stepping up to offer alternatives to the music industry. Frankly, I don't hear too many people (myself included) in the mainstream complaining about the options. I'm all for capitalism and competition and welcome Google to the game. However, I'm going to remain skeptical about this until I fully understand where Google is going with this.

--
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Churchill

Re:Who wants the service - industry or consumer? (1)

Hrodvitnir (101283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058169)

"The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options..."

and

I don't hear too many people (myself included) in the mainstream complaining about the options

See, this is the problem. There is a skew in the Annoyance Factor. In a truly capitalistic society, we must strike a balance. The annoyance must be equal on both sides for everyone to be happy (or... unhappy). This "sweet spot," if you willl, is called The Grumpy Point. Once the grumpy levels out, equilibrium can be restored.

Poperti model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057919)

They might go with poperti model http://www.poperti.com/ [poperti.com]

Unending greed? (2, Insightful)

TheNoxx (412624) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057924)

From TFA: "The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services."

What part are they unhappy about? Making tons of money not enough, they want more? The only thing that could lead the music industry to be "unhappy" with iTunes is that they want to charge more per download, whether it be through higher price-fixing or subscriptions that seem like a good deal, but aren't. That's all they care about. Unfortunately, the MPAA doesn't get to dictate how the market works, too bad for them. Unless Google starts off with an online music store a good bit cheaper than iTunes and somehow manages to completely kill off the iTunes store before jacking up the prices, the music industry isn't going anywhere, and neither will any new efforts from Google or anyone else.

Cheap, quality, legal music? (1)

DimGeo (694000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057941)

Will this finally be the long-awaited way of getting cheap, high-quality, portable & legal music? Music that I can play in Winamp using the MAD plugin? And will I be able to prove I own that music when the feds find an excuse to bust into my house?

Re:Cheap, quality, legal music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15058088)


Will this finally be the long-awaited way of getting cheap, high-quality, portable & legal music? Music that I can play in Winamp using the MAD plugin? And will I be able to prove I own that music when the feds find an excuse to bust into my house?


PUT DOWN THE PIPE!

It doesn't fit (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057948)

Companies tend not to branch into totally unrealated unexplored businesses. Google is not in the subscription/sales business. It's in the advertising sponsored search business. Granted, neither was Apple, but they did already have at least some form of a paid software download business. Google has no experience at all in online sales.

If it's anything like the Google video store... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15057966)

...then Apple has nothing to worry about. That debacle proved that Google doesn't understand the first thing about putting up a retail front on the web.

My guess (1)

Antimatter3009 (886953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057971)

It'll be like iTunes, but worse. I don't think that even the mighty Google can convince the record labels to do things the right way (no DRM, reasonable prices, etc.).

My only hope is that Google will focus more on the "indie" artist population and expose the world to some mostly unheard of music. That would be more in line with their style (and motto), but I'm not sure it will work (but I can hope!).

Re:My guess (1)

xusr (947781) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058026)

"That would be more in line with their style"

I wish it were still true; in the past, I would have agreed. Google isn't the underdog anymore, not by a long shot. All of Google's recent advances reek of corporate wariness and market saturation. To have one company that has access to all the world's information...that is a great power. I hope and pray that Google becomes more responsible with that power.

wouldn't it be interesting if our kids complain about Google like we complain about Microsoft?

Utter lack of sympathy for the music industry (3, Insightful)

Froggy (92010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057983)

'The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services.'

Oh, really?

Well, I'm broadly unhappy with the music industry's desire to charge like wounded bulls for mediocre content and infest their media with single-platform proprietary DRM. I just *wonder* what sort of 'subscription models' the music industry is hanging out for. Guess what? I'm usually pretty supportive of google's enterprises, but if if I can't listen to the music on my iPod *and* my daughter's el cheapo MP3 player *and* my PowerBook *and* my work linux box *and* burn it to a CD so I can show it to my non-MP3-player-owning friends and relatives -- I'm not interested.

Oh, and I like Celtic folk, Afro-Celtic world music, blues, prog, electronica, choral and a bunch of other minority genres. I spent about A$70 on music last month, almost all from little indy labels. The Big Names of the music industry can take their overproduced teen manufactured product and stick it where the sun don't shine.

Re:Utter lack of sympathy for the music industry (1)

dsgitl (922908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058287)

I don't want to be a shill, but you might check out emusic.com. They have all of those features you're looking for.

That is, unless, you just want to filibuster against the music industry and online services. If so, please continue.

I hope that Google does this, and does so with... (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057984)

I hope that Google does this, and does so with the same standards and aplomb that they have used for all of the other Google services. I like Google, not because of the do no evil clause, but because their services work, they work well, and the costs are... well, affordable.

If MS or the RIAA could find a company that works as well as ITMS or that works better than ITMS, they would have done so. Clearly, they are in need of a partner company that has both the technology know-how and the backbone to make it work. Google definitely fits in that category. I hope that if such a bargain is struck, that the *AA finds themselves holding on for dear life to the tail of a very BIG tiger....

The most likely outcome (1)

Piroca (900659) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058005)


is another flop, such as most of what google has produced in the last 18 months (it's sad when even the fanboys don't argue about it anymore..)

More possibilities for adsense? (2, Insightful)

gadwale (46632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058014)

I guess this will open up a lot more opportunities for advertising on gtunes.. Relevant-genre/artist music-snippet ads maybe?

Amazing (4, Funny)

Dr_LHA (30754) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058028)

Hi hope it's as great as the Google Video store!!!

DRM is Unnecessary (2, Insightful)

tabdelgawad (590061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058069)

What would happen if the **AA allowed Google to launch a music/movie service *without* DRM? The vast majority of material on legitimate services like iTunes is available DRM-free on the p2p networks and usenet. But people still use iTunes because it's more convenient and not legally risky.

Would iTunes or any other legitimate music/movie service be *less* successful without DRM? I don't think so. Which begs the question: what's the **AA's business case for DRM?

Re:DRM is Unnecessary (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058235)

Would iTunes or any other legitimate music/movie service be *less* successful without DRM? I don't think so. Which begs the question: what's the **AA's business case for DRM?

You don't think that DRM makes music/move download services successful and that somehow "begs" a business case for DRM? Wierd. The business case for DRM is so freaking obvious... if you control how the music is distributed not just at the point of purchase but beyond you ensure that after market copying is severly limited and in turn help drive purchases back to your store instead of trading with their friends. DRM makes perfect sense from content owner's perspective.

how to keep the RIAA happy... (2, Funny)

antibryce (124264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058121)

The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing

All Apple has to do to keep the industry happy is rearrange that to "price fixing".

VISA ELECTRON (1)

traveller604 (961720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058134)

They better accept Visa Electron too. There are a lot of us potential customers without a credit card out there. Start accepting VISA Electron as well and I'll become a customer for sure :)

Free market suppply and demand (1)

OlivierB (709839) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058178)

Let's take away for a second all format and technical questions for a moment, ans let's suppose that their format play nicely on/with other players; i.e. A from iTunes is equivalent to A from Google. Let's look at the problem from an economic perspective.

Say you have two songs available A and B. A is in high demand and B is an oldie which sells low volume.

on Itunes, A and B are sold for the same price: 99c
On Gogles Music Store (GMS), A is priced at $1.19 and B at $.79.

If I am a consumer, I will always buy from the cheapest source; so I will buy A from iTunes and B from GMS.

Now if you are Apple or Microsoft you understand this very quickly and you want to make you formats incompatible so that A from itunes != A from GMS. In economic terms you remove all substitute products.

What I would like to know is how somebody like Google with no hardware penetration will overcome this. THey sure as hell are not going to use Micosoft's tech, and Apple won't play fair.

So what's left for Google? A new proprietary DRM format as they use for their videos atm.
I don't know about you, but I can *bear* watching videos on my computer rather than iPod/PocketPc whatever because pf the screensize advantage, but I sure as hell enjoy most of my music on the go.

Sounds to me like Google is brewing their own little digital equivalent of Sony's stillborn UMD medium for PSP movies.

Oh, Google please hire some designers for your media store, Google Video is a disgrace.

OT: Slashdot tagging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15058187)

The slashdot article:

Google Music Store Inches Closer?
...
...
[+] music, google, itunes (tagging beta)

This tagging is fantastic!

Alright! (1)

Omicron (79581) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058204)

Crappy fidelity audio files with a poorly organized search interface. And the general internet public can upload any homemade crap they feel like it. I can't wait!!

What we need... (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058265)

is for someone with billions of dollars to just buy the rights to all content and develop a massive content delivery system to give it away for free. And ponies... ponies for everyone.

Alternative? (1)

MattW (97290) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058302)

The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services.

Good luck with that. How many millions of people have iPods? If I could get the yahoo music service onto my iPod, I'd pay for that subscription, just as a way of exploring and heading >30 seconds of songs. I frankly don't buy much music from itunes or anywhere, because I can't hear it first. I'm not going into a store, and I don't listen to the radio. So... where does that leave me? Occasionally browsing the itms and buying on the strength of a 30 second clip, occasionally hearing something during a movie or while (rarely) driving and getting it, or buying something on a personal recommendation from someone.

As for fixed pricing, big woop. I can see why Apple wants the fixed pricing, but I certainly don't care. If they want to charge $3 for the latest manufactured pop crap, go for it. I'm already not paying $.99 for it, now I can not pay $3.99.

Don't buy it (1)

mack knife (96580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15058379)

The whole article is based on the musings of one analyst, who also put out a "buy" order on Google. That's it. One guy's parsing of an alleged meeting between Google and some music people.

While Jobs may be committed to 99 cent songs on iTunes, I just don't see how they would stick to that if Google was really serious about this, and I imagine Apple would know.

I expect a denial from Google in the next couple days.
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