Music Beta by Google launches

It has been rumoured for almost a year, but only now has Google officially confirmed its music service for Android devices, going by the name of Music Beta by Google.

It isn't quite what we (or they) hoped for, as there is no option to buy music via Google. We suspect deals were not done in time or the right terms offered. So what we're left with is an Android-based storage and streaming service that operates via the 'cloud'.

In other words, you can store up to 20,000 tunes using cloud storage, with the option to access them anytime you are online with an Android-based device. That device does need to be Android 2.2 or above though. Yes, your entire music collection somewhere in the internet ether, ready for you anytime. In fact, it even caches tunes you've recently played for offline play, with the additional option to choose if you want tracks to be available offline.

All good. Or is it? Well, no. The service is invite-only and right now, those invites are for US users only. If the service involved music buying, we would perhaps write it off for coming to the UK for quite a while. But it doesn't, so there's no reason why it won't come to these shores. Probably when it comes out of 'Beta', and hopefully later this year.

It's not the only media making its way to Android devices either, with Google launching movie rentals, too. That is available for Android 2.2 users and above, along with an updated Android Homeycomb OS, with movies selling for $1.99 and available to watch for 30 days.

From that pricing, you'll have guessed that this is another US-only release. We're not sure about this one coming to the UK, it's likely to come up against various rights issues. But as a selling point, particularly for tablets, you would guess that Google will do all it can to get movie rentals worldwide.

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