Following in the footsteps of Amazon, Google announced a new service that allows users to stream music they own from Google servers instead of saving them on their smart phones. The San Jose Mercury News reports:
Music Beta is similar to the Amazon Cloud Drive music service recently launched by the online retailer, and users will upload their digital tracks to the new Google service, as they do with Amazon's.
The service, which initially will be free and will allow users to store as many as 20,000 songs online, will be available by invitation-only to U.S. users.
Music will automatically sync between users' smartphones, computers or tablet devices, all through Internet connections. "The best part is if I get a brand new phone, all I have to do is sign in, my music is right there, right away," said Google engineer Paul Joyce.
Venturebeat reports that the announcement puts Google ahead of Apple, which has been expected to create a cloud-based music streaming service. The Mercury News notes that this is also a move on Google's part to close in on the biggest gap between its Android devices and Apple's iPhones: Apple has iTunes, which allows users to download music easily and now Google's Music Beta will theoretically allow for the same ease in Android devices.
If you're interested in seeing how this works, Google has posted this video: