• "Google Audio": iTunes Killer or Music Search on Steroids?

    image via mac.tv.de

    A spate of reports out this morning indicate that Google, Inc. may be preparing its next shot across the bow of Apple, Inc: an online music store to compete with Apple's iTunes.

    TechCrunch's Michael Arrington claims that Google "has spent the last several weeks securing content" for an online music service, according to "multiple sources." His piece says that the service - which he claims will be called "Google Audio" will be available in the US "at least," but global availability is not clear.

    Arrington took pains to distinguish this potential offering from the free music service provided by Google China for the past year:
    We're still gathering details, but our understanding is the service will be very different to the Google China music download service that they launched in 2008. That service, which is only available in China, allows users to search for music and download it for free.
    Peter Kafka, who writes the "Media Memo" blog at the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital site, claims -citing an apparently different set of sources - that Google's new product will not compete directly with iTunes. Kafka's sources tell him that the service, to be called One Box, "will only be offering limited bits of music, and it will be using other companies to actually provide the tunes." According to this version, users will enter a search term on Google and will be provided with a snippet or full-length song, with a link to an external site where the track can be downloaded.

    As the waters of rumor continue to churn, little can be known for certain. However, reports do converge on the idea that the release is "imminent," so things should clear up in short order.
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