It has been wanted and rumored, and now it is finally here. At their I/O Conference today, Google announced their cloud music streaming and movie rental services for Android devices. The music service has been given the hopefully not permanent name of "Music Beta by Google" and the video store has been integrated into Android Market.
Like Amazon's Cloud Player, Music Beta offers a certain amount of free storage for users to either upload their music tracks or import them from iTunes. Once your music is stored in Music Beta, you can play it from any Android device or computer with a remotely modern browser. For offline use, Music Beta caches recently played songs and also lets you choose specific songs or albums that you always want available.
Now on to the movie service. In order to access the music service, you can either navigate to market.android.com or tap the "Movies" tab in the Android Market on their device. Once there, you have the option to rent from a moderate selection of movies for about $3 apiece. After you pay for your selection, you'll be able to stream it for up to 30 days after the purchase, but once you begin watching, you've got 24 hours to finish.
One of the flaws with Android has been the lack of a media store. With these new products, Google is obviously trying to remedy that situation. Whether they are successful or not we have yet to see, but I generally have faith in Google products. I have my fingers crossed hoping for an invite to Music Beta so I can take a look at it, but the longer Google takes in rolling this out, the harder it will be for them to draw users from Amazon.[Google | VentureBeat]