If you’ve lived anywhere but under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably stopped buying your CDs at brick-and-mortar retailers (about the time they cost around $17 dollars an imprint versus $0.00 at Napster and Limewire) and moved to the great beyond that is the world wide web for your audio adrenaline.
Where you live… if you haven’t heard of iTunes.
Though sites and clients like the aforementioned Napster and Limewire still function, most people have turned to more legitimate modes of music distribution (Citing Rhapsody, Amazon and the ever-present and dominating iTunes). So what does the future hold for our earbuds? In ten years, when some hipster bitches about how the Strokes album was only good until they sold out…where are they going to write their review?
In a world where there is a distinct population of people that will buy any product that is prefixed with a lower case “i,” iTunes has become the dominant vendor of songs. They’ve even begun to foray into other forms of media sharing, starting to sell single episodes of TV shows and full-length movies. With the largest library of music online, iTunes has yet to find a real competitor in the “I want my music and I want it now!” department.
The blogosphere, the tech news pages, and the San Francisco water-coolers are all abuzz about a new program launched by Google, rumored to directly compete with iTunes. Google Music is currently being tested internationally, which demonstrates the inevitability of a beta launch in the United States sometime soon. All of this established, I feel it’s important to compile what Google Music is going to offer us and how that may, will, can, or cannot compete with iTunes. To do this we must navigate through the rumors and see whats going on with the big G.
Google had originally wanted to launch its music program back towards the end of 2010 but since have had to stall due to delays in acquiring the right to store music for users on their own servers. What this means is that Google’s going for cloud music rights, allowing users to access their music from anywhere without having to have it stored on a hard drive. Furthermore, they are going for rights not just to music that they sell, but for any music that you may already have on your computer.
The future of the internet is cloud – basically access to anything from anywhere using any device without having to actually have it saved and waste precious hard drive space. Remote access isn’t just for James Bond movies anymore.
Do you think Google’s impressive new program is going to be able to hold up against iTunes? Get back to me.