In what has been expected for a while now, Google has launched Google Music and is now accepting invitations. The Android tablet/phone apps are being updated as well in the market. The cloud based service is expected to compete with Amazon’s cloud music offering, but rumors point to more storage for free. Record companies were supposed to partner with Google to offer either subscription based music, or a la carte options similar to what iTunes and Amazon already offer. Apparently the record companies have backed out (weasels), but the service will let users upload their own music for access on the go, or on other computers connected to the web. We will know more about it as Google I/O continues, but feel free to hit the link for a chance to partake in Google’s cloud based music service.
update: Looking like U.S. only for now folks! Sorry to bring the bad news.
update: Google has seemed to really done their homework with the new service. The “Music Beta by Google” will not only be cloud based music, but will feature playlist support (users can make their own), or “instant mix” which will create a music playlist based on one chosen song. The “instant mix” will grab 25 tracks to give you your “truly ingenious mix.” Not bad for an initial offering.
Not only can you access the songs in the cloud, but you can cache the songs to your device for future use offline. That should take care of most of the “out of network” issues that some will complain about. The beta service will be free as long as it’s in “beta” form, so hopefully it stays that way as long as Gmail was in beta. It will be able to host up to 20,000 songs for free, and beyond that shouldn’t be too bad considering Google’s current pricing for online storage. Check the video after the jump for the full rundown.