Google Music is official, for the US anyway, and offers Spotify-style music sharing, a free song every day, interviews with artists, exclusive tracks, and even a Myspace-style artists' area where they can set their own price.
It'll offer 13 million tracks (8 million from today) from over 1,000 labels including Universal, EMI and Sony Music, as well as a ton of indies. Google has also promised more partners will be announced in the coming months.
As expected, the service lets you share songs with friends just like Spotify does via Facebook. They'll hear entire songs for free, not just a short preview. You can share direct with your Google Plus circles too, though don't confuse Colleagues with Epic Bros.
Also as we reported, there'll be a free song of the day, every day, which is a pretty great feature.
You can upload up to 20,000 tunes to the cloud (sound familiar?) through the Music Manager, and it'll download tracks to your device for offline listening later when you don't have a connection.
But not only that, Google is letting artists sell music direct, with its Artist Hub. It's a little like Myspace, but with more control, letting the musician set preview length, and even how much to charge for each song. Google takes 30 per cent, and the rest goes to the musicians. There's a $25 (£16) registration fee, but no annual charge.
So what else? There's all the usual, like Staff Picks, New Releases, plus interviews with the bands (a section it's calling Magnifier). Each song is 320kbps, with 90 second previews.
There's also a deal with T-Mobile (in the US), giving customers exclusive music, and letting them pay for music on their phone bill. Google Music generally will offer exclusive tracks, like never-before released concerts from Rolling Stones, and tracks from Coldplay (those haters of streaming services), Busta Rhymes, Pearl Jam, and more.
It'll be coming to Android phones and devices in the coming days (in the US-only, again), and will need Android 2.2 or later. Google also announced it's sold over 200 million Android devices, up from 100 million in May. Yowzers.
Great stuff. But there's still no word on when we'll see it in the UK. Drat.
Image credit: The Verge.