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Google Cloud Music Entertainment Technology

Google Launching Music Service Without Labels 406

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the put-it-in-yer-locker dept.
fysdt writes "Google Inc is set to launch an online music locker service to allow users to store and access their songs wherever they are, similar to one launched by Amazon.com Inc in March. And like the Amazon Cloud Drive player, Google music service is being introduced on Tuesday without any prior licensing deals with major music labels, following months of fruitless negotiations."
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Google Launching Music Service Without Labels

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  • by Admodieus (918728) <john@misczLIONak.net minus cat> on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @01:22PM (#36085234)
    from old media, over me accessing songs I own from wherever I am, or any device I have.
    • Sorry but I have never heard of these "music labels", what are they? Does that have anything to do with the ID3 in the mp3? If so ID3 data indeed does have to be better coordinated, too many mp3's are mislabeled with completely wrong ID3 data. Multible song and lyrics versions and lyrics .lrc syncrhonization is just a complete mess because there is no proper ID3 data standards, especially when it come to multiple versions of the same song by the same artist. Perhaps by putting it all in a cloud and comp

    • by drb226 (1938360)
      RIAA sues Google in 5...4...3...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HappyClown (668699)
      It has already started [techdirt.com]
  • Just because it's Google, music labels won't let a piece of the pie to go to waste. Sadly.
    • Re:Lawsuit in 321... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ruke (857276) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @01:52PM (#36085562)

      You're overestimating the music industry; while I'm sure that no one wants a long, drawn out lawsuit, Google sees about twice as much revenue than the entire recording industry*. (Plus, they've got a business model that doesn't revolve around suing their users.) I'm not sure that the RIAA's lawyers would be too eager to sue Google; it's easy to arm-twist a $2000 settlement out of a college kid, and if one or two of them do end up going to court, the RIAA can certainly outlast any private individual. However, suing someone bigger than you, who has an experienced in-house legal team, is a whole different ballgame.

      * Gotta back up my claims. For the sake of this argument, "the record industry" doesn't contain indie labels; they are too fragmented to coordinate their power. That leaves us with:
      Sony Music Entertainment [wikipedia.org]: $1.33 billion
      Universal Music Group [wikipedia.org]: $6.14 billion
      Warner Music Group [wikipedia.org]: $3.49 billion
      EMI [wikipedia.org]: $1.65 billion
      versus
      Google [wikipedia.org]: $29.32 billion

      (all values USD, anual revenue, as listed on Wikipedia)

      • by iluvcapra (782887) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @02:10PM (#36085750)

        Marvelous. Buying the law.

        The future of music, with music labels crushed and Google dictating how musicians are paid, is bright.

        • by robot256 (1635039)
          Trading one corporate overlord for another. Big whoop. For the sake of argument, can you tell me how Google could be worse than the RIAA?
        • by geminidomino (614729) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @02:17PM (#36085846) Journal

          As opposed to the present, with the public being crushed and the labels dictating how musicians are paid?

        • Marvelous. Buying the law.

          The future of music, with music labels crushed and Google dictating how musicians are paid, is bright.

          I'd rather Google decide how musicians are paid than have labels dictate that they aren't.

          • by iluvcapra (782887)

            I'm repeated surprised by how I'll say something like "Google will control X!" and people do not immediately disagree, saying "Google won't control X!"

            No, they immediately accept my frame and then actively defend the idea of a multi-billion dollar advertising company controlling content, and how this is the the right and true and good outcome, and how we'll all be so much happier when the company that records our searches and history, maps our location and snoops our wifi makes it impossible for anybody to

        • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @03:41PM (#36086694)

          >>>Google dictating how musicians are paid

          Welcome to the world 99% of the other wage-slaves have to deal with. Do you think WE get to tell our bosses how/when we wish to be paid? Of course not. The corporation dictates how laborers get paid, and there's no reason to think Musicians, Actors, Authors, etc should be any different. I figure in the future they'll all be paid by the Hour, rather than per sale.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          "Marvelous. Buying the law.

          The future of music, with music labels crushed and Google dictating how musicians are paid, is bright."

          I really don't understand how you got from Point a to point b?

          How will this crush the music labels? Or even effect them at all?
          I buy my music from Amazons MP3 store or I buy a CD. So the label and artist are paid. I rip my CDs and put them on my phone and my ipod touch now. Which is all fine since I have paid for the music. Now I can copy them to Google so I do not have worry abo

      • by tukang (1209392)
        The flipside of that argument is that there's only so much you can squeeze out of a college student whereas Google has deep pockets. Patent trolls regularly go after companies with the deepest pockets and they seem to do just fine.
      • Ooh! I do! I want to see Google vs the **AA and affiliates! Nice and drawn out!

        Then we can make a movie about it! It will be free with signup to Gmail!

      • by blair1q (305137)

        If Google was stealing from you, would you not enlist the forces of the government in getting your property back?

        And if you were a big company used to suing children for the content of their college funds, but saw a giant pot of money trundling along the horizon doing exactly the same thing those children were doing, could you avoid drooling?

        If Google is doing anything infringing, the RIAA will peel them like a baggie of crystal meth, and the sound they make on the way to the courthouse will set off car al

      • by Karlt1 (231423)

        Sony Music Entertainment: $1.33 billion
        Universal Music Group: $6.14 billion
        Warner Music Group: $3.49 billion
        EMI: $1.65 billion

        You do realize that all of those companies are owned by much larger parent companies don't you?

  • This is a smoking gun to any pirated or "borrowed" music in your collection. Let the subpoenas begin! Or, you can leave the music at home and use something like Subsonic [subsonic.org], which provides almost all the functionality of GMusic ... the client just needs some love and polish.
    • Can other people see my music?

      Then how will the RIAA know what I have there, what is the basis for the subpoena?

      • Only people with something to hide would hide something.

        Hey this Koan thing is fun...

      • by proverbialcow (177020) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @02:05PM (#36085690) Journal

        Can other people see my music?

        Then how will the RIAA know what I have there, what is the basis for the subpoena?

        Also, how will the RIAA know when you obtained the pirated music? The statute of limitations clock in many cases is pinned to the last infringing act - so not only would they have to prove you had the files and obtained the music files through copyright infringement, they would have to prove that they were still inside the statute of limitations (three years for civil suits, five for criminal), which means proving you downloaded the music or shared it with someone else during a specific period of time.

        • by JimFive (1064958)

          The statute of limitations clock in many cases is pinned to the last infringing act - so not only would they have to prove you had the files and obtained the music files through copyright infringement, they would have to prove that they were still inside the statute of limitations (three years for civil suits, five for criminal), which means proving you downloaded the music or shared it with someone else during a specific period of time.

          You clearly made a copy when you put it on this new Google Service so that would be the most recent infringement date. Not only did you make a copy, you clearly distributed it (albeit to yourself).
          --
          JimFive

  • there be a shitstorm a brewin in the sea of google.
  • ...If Google becomes the label. If Google can do what MySpace succeeded at, which is become the home for small artists, Google may be onto something. They can go a step further and become the label, offering video and audio hosting, a store and perhaps even CD printing through suppliers. Bands would upload to Google rather than MySpace or with an independent label. It would be a natural extension to the service provider portfolio, Picassa, Docs, Voice, Apps etc.

    If not, expect a legal creampie with only the

    • by improfane (855034) * on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @01:33PM (#36085344) Journal

      Apologies for this expression I just Googled it and regret my wording.

      Just meant to imply it would be a massive orgy of corporate interests and expensive litigation.

      • by paiute (550198)

        Apologies for this expression I just Googled it and regret my wording.

        Just meant to imply it would be a massive orgy of corporate interests and expensive litigation.

        Dude, I just GIS'd 'massive orgy' to clarify your implication in the argument above. It was no improvement over 'creampie'.

        I look forward to your 'Rusty Venture' metaphor.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        Well that's okay, just so long as you don't Google "google" -- you'll crash the whole internet.

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        Given that this is largely uncharted legal territory, I'd say that Barely Legal Creampie is a more accurate term. And surely such a term will result in less titillating search results!

    • It sounded like Google was able to secure licensing deals from several labels, they specifically called out independent labels as being easy to work with, but it sounds like Sony and Universal refused to come to terms.

      Clearly, this is not the music service Google wanted to offer. And Google director of content partnerships Zahavah Levine -- who led the company's negotiations with the major labels -- made it clear who she feels is to blame.

      "We've been in negotiations with the industry for a different set of features, with mixed results," she told Billboard the night before the announcement was made. "[But] a couple of major labels were less focused on innovation and more on demanding unreasonable and unsustainable business terms."

      Sources tell Billboard that Sony Music Group and Universal Music Group proved the bottlenecks in this case. Google wanted to offer a scan-and-match style locker service -- where instead of uploading different copies of the same track to store in a locker for each users, the service would scan users' libraries and match the songs they own to a centralized server, paying rightsholders for each stream. Without the rights to do so, the message from Google is clear -- either get on board or we'll move on without you.

      "A large segment of the music industry worked cooperatively and was extremely helpful sorting out the issues of online licensing," she said, giving particular credit to the independent label and publishing communities.

      But the same article also explicitly says they're launching without any licensing deals at all. It looks like Sony and Universal torpedoed the boat for everyone.

  • Requires Flash (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @01:42PM (#36085452)

    From the system requirements [google.com] : "The latest version of Adobe Flash Player must be installed and enabled in your browser (Flash is included with Google Chrome)."

    So it's going to be a non-starter for a lot of devices including of course iOS devices but a lot of others too. So right of the bat they go out of their way to alienate literally millions of potential users. Not a good way to dive into a market that has a lot of big players going into it including Amazon and potentially Apple who are rumored, as they always are, to be working on something similar.

    • by monoqlith (610041)

      I wouldn't be too alarmed. I'm sure an iOS App will be forthcoming to replace any lost Flash functionality. If not they risk losing the entire block of iOS users when Apple releases its own cloud service.

    • Err... seeing as on android they have a dedicated app (from the same page you linked to) I don't think flash is how they plan to target mobile.
      • Yes, but for now the only way to access the service is to have a supported Android device or a Flash-enabled device. It's odd that a web company like Google would deliberately limit its service like that when using pure HTML5 technologies would have provided a much larger potential audience, including mobile devices for which there might not be any apps developed. Amazon's Cloud Player [pcworld.com] for example does work on iOS devices and that's their largest competitor for now.

        • It's odd that a web company like Google would deliberately limit its service like that when using pure HTML5 technologies would have provided a much larger potential audience

          HTML5 relies on the codecs present in the end user's web browser. Browsers included with an operating system support only patented MPEG codecs; other browsers support only Free codecs. Do you expect Google to transcode all uploads between Vorbis and AAC?

    • by gaspyy (514539)

      Considering that one can make an app in flash and use AIR to deliver apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, I'm sure it's only a matter of days until such apps will pop up in the app stores.

    • So it's going to be a non-starter for a lot of devices including of course iOS devices but a lot of others too.

      It's a non-starter anyway. When you put your phone into your pocket, is the browser going to stay open and keep playing the music?

      They'll just make an iOS app, not a BFD.

  • Patiently awaiting a clever hack that will allow storing any data there instead of just music.
    Documents in MP3 wrapper? 50Gb free storage anywhere? Sweet :)

    • Google already offers storage at 20GB for $5/yr; 80GB for $20.
      Is it really worth the trouble?

    • by improfane (855034) *

      I'd be surprised if it actually stores the file you upload to it. Or if you even upload it (I haven't RTFA). Otherwise they would have so much data to store and duplicate files for the same song. I suppose Google can afford it.

      I would design it so that it merely identifies the song (locally or remotely) and then adds a standard version of that song to your account. No need to store anything. Everyone uses the same file on the Google server. That's probably how Spotify works when you add your MP3s.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        But then how would they be able to serve me the songs I've manipulated aurally but not identificationally?

        They'd have to hash the recorded content of every upload to create a proper database without duplicates. I bet that's easy on the server.

    • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @02:09PM (#36085742)
      Unfortunately, wrapping the brainfuck implementation of DoomII into an mp3 produces a dark eldritch chant that, upon playing in a dark room under a full moon, summons Cthulhu and ushers in an age of despair for 100 years. Plus or minus some if you use a bit rate less then 128.

      Google has a ticket open.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @01:50PM (#36085544) Homepage

    Google has been negotiating with the music publishers and the negotiations were described as "fruitless." This can only mean that the music industry wanted payment for every time a user plays music that he already paid for and Google didn't want to allow it.

    So, in the end, we will see this service become popular and the industry will challenge this in court initially seeking injunctive relief and eventually "performance royalties" among other damages.

    I, of course, anxiously await the legal tangle. Google is a hero for many here on Slashdot for various reasons. I still see them as a marketing company with their own angle and interests at heart, but I do appreciate the fact they are willing to fight for their cause rather than simply roll over and pay people just to stay out of court.

  • by Kagato (116051) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @02:08PM (#36085736)

    If you look at the Amazon EULA it squarely transfers the liability to the customer. One would assume Google would do the same thing. The customer attests they have the legal right to store and stream the music in "teh Cloud".

  • So you want me to put my mp3s(I hope) in the cloud. Will you provide useful features beyond a simple store, like automatic synching to my phone and PC? Will you let me use multiple accounts from anywhere like Steam, or will you lock it down to a single account per computer like BNet? Will you let me add my own files to my library like Steam or will it be limited to purchased offerings from Google like BNet?

    Basically will you create something new and dangerous to the old publishers that will corner the ma

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