Google's New Android Music Store

Among the announcements at Google’s I/O conference recently, were several that are directly relevant to the music industry, including a new Android music store and plans for a Google TV service that will take YouTube to people’s living rooms.

Google is planning to launch a new section of its Android Market mobile store for music, which will allow people to browse songs on the web, purchase them, and have them sent directly to their Android phones. The company didn’t reveal any details about label deals, pricing or a likely launch date though.

Meanwhile, Google also revealed that it has acquired Simplify Media, a cloud-content company that lets people stream their iTunes library to any device. Its iPhone app has been removed from the App Store, as Google plans to use its technology as part of the new Android Music store.

Google also gave an update on Android’s growing momentum at the I/O conference, saying that it is now activating more than 100,000 new Android handsets every day – implying three million handset sales a month.

More than 60 Android smart phones are now available from 21 handset makers, and the Android Market store has more than 50,000 apps available. Google also unveiled the next version of the Android OS, version 2.2 (or ‘Froyo’ as it’s known). It’ll be faster, and allow users to backup their data and content, among other new features.

But Wait, There’s More – Google TV

Google’s other big announcement yesterday was Google TV, a new service that will merge traditional TV with web videos, with lots of personalisation and search to help people find stuff to watch.

The company is partnering with TV and set-top box manufacturers to roll out the service, starting with Sony and Logitech, and these connected TVs will also be able to run Android apps and browse the web. Google TV will include something called YouTube Leanback, which is an HD-friendly way to watch YouTube videos on the big screen.

The service will try to learn viewers’ preferences, to serve up personalized feeds of videos they might like.

Our thanks to DJ Times magazine for giving us the “heads up” about this topic.

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