We’ll Be Live at the Google Music Store Event in LA at 5pm Eastern – What to Expect & What We Want to See


Today’s the big day for Google’s event in Los Angeles and we expect them to announce none other than the long-awaited Google Music service the way Google envisioned it back at I/O in 2010. A year and a half later and their iTunes and Amazon MP3 competitor is just about ready for eager eyes to see.

Forward to 33:00 for Google’s vision 

Our own Chris Chavez will be riding over to LA for the event and we’ll be bringing you great coverage of the announcement including any hands-on time we may be able to get. Circle back around with us at 5pm to make sure you’re tuned in to the latest that comes out of the event. You can also watch their presentation live at YouTube.com/android at that time.

What to expect?

So just what do we think we’ll see at this event? Luckily for us, a lot of the guess work has been taken out of it. Google gave us a glimpse of what they wanted to do back in 2010 at Vic Gundotra’s Day 2 Keynote at Google I/O.

An iTunes Alernative

Forward ahead to exactly 33:00 in the video above. It would be accurate to describe it as Google’s version of iTunes for Android, though we absolutely hate making the comparison. We will anyway since it is top dog in the world of music downloading.

Users will be able to download music from many of Google’s recording partners and at affordable prices, we’d imagine. It would be a completely new venture for Google but one that I think could work well. It’s not like Google TV where content is driven by ads. It’s a lot easier to get a music service going with great content than it is a video service and we think Google will be able to achieve a lot over time.

Much like how downloads work in the Android market now, users will be able to purchase music on their PCs using the Android market and the music will proceed to download straight to their device. We also expect you to be able to purchase and discover new music through the Android market on phones and tablets.

 Free Content and Great Publicity

Earlier screenshots also leaked plans for Google to provide a free song of the day, much like Amazon does with Android applications. The quality of these free songs remain to be seen, but when it’s free you can’t really complain. It’s also a great way for artists and labels for visibility. If someone downloads the free song of the day and end up liking it, they’ll be more enticed to go out and search for more of that artists’ music.

Beyond that, it’s hard to imagine what Google will do which is why we’re going to talk about things we want to see. We have a few good ideas that we hope Google has already thought up to make the service even better.

Things we want to see

As much as we trust Google has put a ton of effort into Google Music, we hope it’s more than even they probably imagined. Here are just a few things we’d like to see announced at tonight’s event, or at the very least we’d want to see these updates sometime down the line.

Google Music Integration

Google already has a cloud streaming service that allows users to upload their music acquired from elsewhere and listen to it over 3G, 4G or WiFi. What we’d want to see is the ability to purchase music and have it automatically added to your cloud library in Google Music. Some say there could be a bit of a problem there logistically and legally, but who knows? If users are going to download then upload songs to the cloud anyway, why not?

A subscription-based streaming radio service

It wouldn’t be enough for me to be able to stream my music. I’d love to be able to listen to music I don’t have on my phone but that I wouldn’t necessarily buy. I’d pay a small fee each month for the privilege, but wouldn’t it be great if Google went the true Google route and offered it free? Perhaps an ad-supported model would work. Sure, there’s Pandora and other services but there’s nothing like getting stuff straight from Google sometimes.

The ability to re-download music you buy for free

I know this sounds like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many music downloading services force you to re-buy music if you need to. A lot can happen that causes one to lose their music collection and I think it’s really lame when certain services (coughamazonitunescough) force you to buy songs you’ve already bought. I’d like to think that if there’s any company that could change this trend, it’s Google. It’s as good a time as any for them to proudly demonstrate their “don’t be evil” mantra, though I understand this may also be a licensing issue with record companies.

More than just music

As great as music is alone I’d want a lot more than that. Call me greedy, but being given the ability to download comedy shows in audio format and being able to listen to podcasts all round out the iTunes experience quite nicely. Again, I hate to make that comparison but iTunes is the king to beat at the moment and they have it figured out in a lot of areas. Audio-only comedy shows could work just the same as music does. Podcasts would likely require additional work for episodic and automatic downloading of new episodes as well as giving users a way to actually publish their shows to the service, but I think the added effort would go a long way.

What About You?

So what do you all hope to see out of today’s music-centric festivities? We always love to hear your opinions so give us a shout in the comments section below and remember to whip back around these parts at 5pm eastern time for our event coverage.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I just want to be able to check off all my pirated songs, click a “Buy” button, and legalize my music collection in one quick action.

    1. iTunes Match is that-a-way.

  2. I’d love love love a music subscription service. I use Mog now, but based on the google music beta’s auto-playlist feature, i think google could come up with much better music discovery than current subscription options.

    1. It may be a Microsoft product but i still think the Zune pass is one of the best subscription services there is. $15 for 10 MP3 downloads and unlimited streaming.  Owning a Zune its nice being able to download them to the device as well for offline listening.  Their Smart DJ will even go out and find music based on a song or artist you choose.

  3. Things I want to see: A Galaxy Nexus in my hand.

  4. I would love it if they include the ability to download and subscribe to podcast, it is the only reason I keep my iPod Touch around anymore.

    1. Have you heard of Google Listen?

      1. Google Listen is a separate product. A lot of people want single app integration, which is what flstcraig is stating.  

      2. Yup and it sucks.

        1. So you rather keep a seperate device with you just because of that…maybe Google Listen isn’t the best but in my mind its clearly better than handling 2 devices…

          1. I have tried it and that isn’t the reason I bought my iPod but no it has been downgraded to being a overpriced podcast player. I wish Google Listen was better because at the moment it does not really compete with iTunes on the iPod. All it does is streaming and the iPod does it way way better and lets you easily find and download the podcast right to your device. I really want to be able to finally get rid of my iPod.

          2. Just tried it again after a year and first it crashed on my Nexus S and then it still wouldn’t play the last Engadget Podcast, seriously WTF.

    2. You ever use Google Listen?

      Edit: Whoops, Pitrick beat me to it.

    3. https://market.android.com/details?id=au.com.shiftyjelly.pocketcasts&hl=en
      I’ve been using Pocket Casts ever since it was free on Amazon’s appstore. It allows subscriptions and easy content management, plus it saves the files to your SD card if you want to play the podcasts through Google Music.

  5. 1. Shazam-like feature to identify songs i don’t know
    2. Keep my library in the cloud (let me download if i need it) and the client as a Chrome app
    3. Ringtone editor (for songs in my library)
    4. Make the mobile app in such a way that i don’t have to unlock my phone or turn the screen on to play/navigate music (cm7 does this great on my D2)
    5. give some subscription options instead of buying song by song (like zune or spotify)

    1. Really, we just need Google to add an intent handler to the Market to handle intents that can be broadcasted by Shazam or SoundHound. So that after you “SoundHound” a song, it gives a link to purchase the song/album in the Market.

      1. on my phone if i hold down the search button, i get a voice activated feature from google for navigation, calls, etc. what if that same button detected what it’s hearing as music? i wouldn’t want a separate app. I would want something from google deeply integrated to other services from google w/o installing anything.

  6. Would really love to see much improved auto-playlists in Google Music.  Namely the ability to automatically select all “thumbs-up” rated songs of a certain genre or time range.

  7. #1 Question: Cool music store… When does the Nexus launch?

  8. They started the free song a day deal a couple months ago in Google Music, so you at least know that will be included.

  9. I’m pretty sure you can re-download digital content from Amazon and you’ve been able to do so for some time now. I just did it yesterday.

    1. Really? Last I tried it wouldn’t let me, and that was a long time ago. Haven’t tried again because of it.

  10. One thing that I want to see in the update is for Google Music to recognize meta data changes that I make on my PC. For example, when I change the genre from “hard rock” to “metal”, on my PC … it should also show up in Google Music.

  11. 1. I would like the ability to clear the playing now playlist, on my phone. 
    2. The ability to queue tracks instead of building playlist
    3. larger cover art on the web player.
    4. Auto cover art fetching for web player. I’m amazed in the web player, when you click “change cover art” it doesn’t automatically find art from Google Images.  
    5. integration with Gmail. a checkbox in mail settings, to include in signature, what song I listened to while composing this message.  
    6. Is it just me or does the web player, look like it was designed in Google Docs?
    7. Smarter instant mix.
    8. Better shuffle. Currently it includes thumb downed songs in shuffle

  12. I want a large selection and cheap prices.

  13. I would like to see a link to Google Music and the Android Market placed on the Google Platform like Google+, G-mail, Web, Maps…etc.  I am tired of going to three different sites for Google services. When I log into Google those 2 sites should be listed on the tabs.

    I really do like Google Music Beta.  I hope that they do increase the time it takes to upload music.  With only being able to upload 2 songs at a time, it took me a couple of months with breaks in between to upload my music collection.

    Also it would be nice if they could find some way to allow us to post what we are listening to, and our review of albums from Google Music to Google+.. just an idea.

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