Google Music here for Christmas?

Word of a Google Android music service first leaked back in June, but the line back then was a 2011 launch. It seems that launch could be sooner, possibly in time for Christmas.

According to Wired, Google is already in talks with major music labels for a download store and a digital song locker that would allow mobile users to play songs wherever they are. Which is one up on Apple.

The service is being pushed forward by Andy Rubin, the man behind Google’s Android mobile operating system and according to 'sources', he hopes to have a service running in time for Christmas, although as yet, no licensing deals have been signed with the labels.

'Finally here’s an entity with the reach, resources and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform,' said a label executive who preferred not to be identified. 'What you’ll have is a very powerful player in the market that’s good for the music business.'

It certainly does promise to be good news for record labels, which hope more competition means more business and revenue for their product. It could theoretically be good news for us, the customer too. After all, competition usually means cheaper music. But don't hold your breath.

If Google does offer a cloud-based music service, it's probable that Apple will follow. The company  bought cloud-based music company LaLa Media last December and closed it in April, possibly with an eye on rebranding and tweaking for the iPhone and iPad. Access to your music wherever you are is likely to be the next big thing and while Apple has led the way with digital music so far, Google could have its foot in the door first this time. Watch this space.

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