Google to launch online music service

Google is about to release a new music service similar to that already offered by Amazon.

Word on the street is that the service could be live from today, although there has been no announcement made even hinting of this.

The Wall Street Journal thinks Google is likely to announce the service at its annual Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco today, adding that the service will operate in a testing mode initially and not be available to the great unwashed for a while.

In other words, it will remain in beta for the next hundred years like many of Google’s services.

But it will mean that Amazon will be looking over its shoulder. In April, Amazon unveiled a service that allows customers to store about 1,000 songs on its web servers for free and play them over an internet connection directly from web browsers.

According to the WSJ, Google has not asked for licenses from the four major recorded-music companies yet. It suggests the service will be more like a remote hard drive with users able to listen to songs they have uploaded to the service in a streaming mode, but will not be able to download the files.

In similar news YouTube has increased the number of movies that can be rented from its site.

From today there will be more than 3,000 movies available.