There’s some exciting news coming out today about Google. Starting today, Google Music is launching in beta form. Google Music, in short, is a cloud-based (read: Internet) service where users can upload their music files and then access that music on other devices they use. Most notably, any phone using the Android OS (hey, I’ve got one of those!). And the cloud-based space is supposed to be generous, allowing users to store 20,000 songs for free. I believe this launch is exciting in that it gives me yet another way to take my music and unhinge it from my PC (we put the CD’s away years ago!) and access it anywhere I am.
Now, there is a caveat. In this initial version, you will only be able to upload the music you already own. Google was running into negotiation problems with the major music labels who, presumably, are continuing to fear for their very survival in the digital age. So, Google moved their product into market without the ability to purchase music through Google Music. For some, that might be a deal breaker. Indeed, Andy Beal speculated as much in a post this morning on the topic. I’m not yet convinced as there are plenty of ways to acquire new music; however, streaming your music to other devices from the cloud has been a little more difficult up to this point.
Now, what does this have to do with Google TV, you ask? A lot, I believe. I recently purchase the Logitech Revue box (which contains Google TV). I know there’s been a fair amount of criticism about Google TV, particularly how Hulu and the major networks block access to their content via the Chrome browser in Google TV. That’s not a concern to me as I rarely watch network TV any more. But, I do use Google TV to do other things and access to my music files is something I would like the option to do. I could easily see a new app within Google TV that allows me to access Google Music (just like I access Netflix and Pandora today) and then stream that music over my sound system at home. Ta da! My music is no longer confined to the room where my PC and Mac that have my music files are located.
I’m not suggesting that this will completely salvage Google TV in the eyes of critics. Apparently access to the 30 different versions of CSI “Name of City Here” is the only thing that will change their minds! But I do believe this makes Google TV just a bit more useful.
photo courtesy of shankar, shiv.