Later today, Google is expected to officially launch its music storefront during a press event in Los Angeles.
Up until now, it's been unclear as to what music label will actually sign up and how Google will offer consumable content. However current speculation points to a Music section within the Android Market that will store purchased songs for free in the user's Google Music locker -- a similar service offered by Amazon. But how the Android Market and Music.Google.com (currently Music Beta by Google) will play together is yet unknown.
Tuesday brought reports that Google finally landed deals with three major music labels just one day shy of the store's launch: Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and EMI Music along with other "independent music labels." Previous news indicated that an agreement with Universal was a done deal, and that Google was still negotiating with Sony Music and the currently absent Warner Music Group. It was also unclear if EMI would participate, but that has apparently changed.
One of the disagreements that previously plagued the negotiations between Google and the four major labels centered around an app currently on the Android Market called MP3 Download Pro. According to allegations, the app allows any user to search from public search engines and download music to their mobile phones. The RIAA even claims that the app is being used for piracy. So far Google has yet to kick the app off the Android Market.
Recently Google hinted that the new music offering will provide a "twist" which was later revealed to be a type of song sharing that grants friends access to songs for a limited time. Additional reports claim that Google Music will also have an iTunes Match feature that will dump high-quality audio files into the user's virtual locker for pre-purchased music. So far Google seems to be sticking to its 20,000 song limit for non-Google purchases.
Google Music is a platform Android has desperately needed for quite some time, and could possibly convince long-time iPhone users to give Google's OS another glance. And although Amazon MP3 offers a 3rd-party music service for Android devices, Google Music will be a native client and integrate itself into the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich build rather nicely.
Later on Wednesday Google is also expected to reveal how its music service will be integrated into its recently-launched social website, Google+. According to the Wall Street Journal, users will be able to share "one or two free listens of the songs with their contacts on the Google+ social-networking service."
Now Android just needs an actual video store for renting and purchasing movies and TV shows.