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Tech Watch: Google Launches New Music Service

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Brian Cooley’s Tech Watch
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(KCBS/AP) – Google kicked off its annual developers conference in San Francisco Tuesday. CNET Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley was there and said one of the big announcements was about a new music service.

CNET Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley comments:

The new service will let users store their music remotely and access them from any compatible device, including mobile phones, tablets and computers.

Google Inc. said Tuesday the service will be available by invitation only starting Tuesday. It says the service, “Music Beta by Google” will be free at first while it is being tested. It did not say what it plans to charge later.

Google said users will be able to store up to 20,000 songs.

The offering competes with Amazon’s cloud-based music service. This lets you play songs you’ve uploaded on your computer or on a smartphone that runs Google’s Android. Apple Inc. is also believed to be working on a similar service.

Like Amazon, Google hasn’t received permission from the record labels.

“Google is saying they think it’s fully legal,” Cooley said, “because they’re not allowing redistribution of the music. It’s your own music you already own just being placed on, if you will, another device… That’s how they’re making their argument so we’ll see how that holds up.”

KCBS’ Technology Analyst Larry Magid Comments:

They also made a tasty announcement about something called Ice Cream Sandwich.

They’ve merged together their Android operating system called Honeycomb and the existing operating system on smartphones.

“It’s a way to tell developers (people who write apps) in the near future, there’s going to be a more cohesive, single Android operating system on tablets, phones and other devices that you can write an app for and know that you’re done at that point,” Cooley explains.

You can hear his Tech Watch report Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:50 P.M. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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