Google has released an invite-only beta of their new cloud-based music service for Android. Similar to Amazon’s Cloud Player, users can upload their media to Google using the ‘Music Manager’ syncing application (which can hook into iTunes libraries). Once cloud-ified, users can listen to their music over-the-air via the webapp or an Android device, so no local storage is needed. If you loose your data connection, recent songs are cached for offline listening, and users can manually select individual albums or songs to be downloaded for offline-only mode. Google also added an ‘Instant Mix’ feature for Genius-like music mixing.
Playlists created are automatically synced across all platforms, so no wires are ever needed. There is no iOS app at the moment, but iTunes loyalists should expect Apple’s streaming service to be released sometime soon. With both Amazon and Google out of the gate (and Spotify breathing down their neck) the boys at Cupertino need to get hustling.