Tech savvy music lovers everywhere have wanted access to their music “in the cloud” for a long time. Rumors abound this month that Google may finally deliver. If so, I have to say I will be one of those tech savvy music geeks dancing a happy jig and uploading my music library as soon as I can.
Of course, I’ll back up my data first – no new service is without glitches, even Google’s (and judging by the rollout of Buzz, some of Google’s are glitchier than others). More important than keeping my treasured music both safe and accessible wherever I want it, whenever I want it, however; is the scope of this possibility.
While everything about Google Music remains speculation for now, it is said that the service will have both a cloud storage service (“cloud” simply means hosted on a remote server and accessible from anywhere you have internet enabled, via phone or mobile device) and a music downloads feature. Of course the tech blogosphere went wild with “iTunes Killer” speculation, but I think that if there is a download feature most users would continue to use multiple services side by side. After all, I already combine eMusic and iTunes – why not one more source for my musical tastes?
So, what could throw a wrench in the plans to finally bring music listeners what they’ve wanted for decades: portable music without hassle or device limitation? The labels and publishers in the music industry of course. Google is proposing, or said to be proposing, a 50:50 split with the artists and labels right now – for the music industry, half isn’t a high enough percentage to assuage their greed.
I’ve been looking online for a place to petition the labels to let our music go, but haven’t found any. Other services, like Spotify, meet the same resistance from US label that Google will. Perhaps Google has the muscle to make it finally happen. If all of the services who need the labels to sign off on what they offer were to team up, they might be an even more formidable force, but I don’t foresee that happening either.