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Google Music Store or iTunes in the Cloud by Fall?

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Michael Robertson Predicts No Cloud Based iTunes In 2010

It's no secret that Google is getting progressively more involved with music. TechCrunch recently even found a Google Music url and logo. Now CNET is reporting that, according to multiple industry sources, Google could launch a music service with downloads and streaming as early as this fall.

Google's purchase of Simplify Media, which enabled users to stream songs from their computer to other web enabled devices helped set the stage. Then, Google approached several major label executives during the Consumer Electronics Show early this year. They told the labels that a Google Music store would include digital downloads and streaming music tied to Google's search results. It's an obvious value proposition: you found it here; so why not listen and buy it here?

The Race Is On: Google vs. iTunes vs...

Of course, Google is not the only company interested in music in the cloud. Apple's purchase and subsequent shuttering of Lala.com and a consistent stream of leaks from the labels, all point to some kind of iTunes music in the cloud service. Whether it will only be about streaming music bought at iTunes, making entire music collections available anywhere as MP3tunes already does, or include streamed music like Spoitify, Rdio and MOG is just a guessing game.

Whether Google or Apple launches first could matter. But according to MP3.com and MP3tunes founder Michael Robertson, who helped create the sector, “building a cloud music service - especially one with an API so it can connect to lots of devices - is a challenging undertaking".

“Apple won't launch any cloud music service in 2010."

In fact delivering music from the cloud is such a complex undertaking that Robertson does not believe that Steve Jobs can accomplish it anytime this year. “Apple won't launch any cloud music service in 2010," declares Robertson. “Nobody knows more about storing personal music collections online and it's not a trivial task by any stretch. It's even harder when you have a massive installed base like Apple does.." As for Lala or any acquisition helping to jump start Apple's efforts, “It takes a huge amount of time to integrate outside companies into an existing platform," according to Robertson. - Bruce Houghton

More: MP3Tunes To Offer Free 10G Music Lockers

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