Google is getting into entertainment, that's the statement being made by the Mountain View company, at its annual Google I/O conference.
First up, Google follows the footsteps of Amazon's Cloud Drive by launching their own "music in the clouds" service. Like Amazon's service, users will be able to upload their music collection (up to 20,000 songs for Google Music), and then be able to access their music collection as long as they have an Internet connection, including support for Android devices (not a surprising feature, considering Amazon's service already does it). Users can even listen to music offline, at least their last few streamed songs on Android devices, and have the option to specifically select albums and playlists for offline listening.
The service is being trialled by invitation only in the US at the moment, but the music industry won't be too pleased at yet another music cloud service launching, going by their protest of Amazon's Cloud Drive. Google is holding firm that their service is aimed at those with legally purchased music, and that if unauthorised copies are being stored and shared, content holders can notify Google to have them removed (something content holders hate having to do).
With music out of the way, next up was video. Specifically video rentals on YouTube. 3,000 titles from Warner Bros., Universal, Sony and other smaller studios will be part of product re-launch (YouTube rentals was originally launched in 2010), with movies available from as low as 99 cents (up to $3.99, with most rentals coming in at around $2.99), for a 24 hour viewing window. With practically no set-top box support for YouTube's rental service, so far, the service will face stiff competition from the likes of Netflix, but with Google's might, it won't be difficult to convince consumer electronic firms and game console manufacturers to add in support.
And Android users won't miss out either, because they'll be able to rent the same movies for their Android devices, starting at $1.99. From the details released so far, movies rented on YouTube cannot be viewed on mobile devices, so users will have to rent it twice if they want to view the movie on their PC (or YouTube rental enabled STB) and on their Android devices.
Do you think Google will get into trouble with the music industry for offering a cloud music storage service, without the industry's blessings? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread: