Google's Music Service Unofficially Up & Running
An Android hacker has discovered that Google's music streaming service is currently up and running, allowing users to store their music in the cloud and then stream the tracks back to an Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" device.
According to a post on the XDA-Dev forum, member WhiteWidows "shoehorned" Honeycomb's new Music app from the Motorola XOOM tablet and then installed it onto his rooted phone, replacing the default stock music player. Once he loaded up the app, he entered into the Settings menu and discovered the unannounced "Sync Music" feature sandwiched between Google Reader and Picasa Web Albums synchronization settings.
"I was prompted with several permissions request and accepted them all," he said. "Syncing then started and I checked that under that under Account and Sync notice Music was syncing. This synced overnight."
When he checked the phone the next morning, all 785 files had synced from his phone’s SD card to a Google server somewhere in the cloud. The music played back without any problems. He then inserted a new, blank SD card and was able to pull all the files back down to his phone. Other XDA-Dev members were also able to sync and retrieve their music as well.
Rumors of a Google-based music service have been around for some time. Originally the service was slated to be a full-fledged shop where customers could purchase singles and albums, or pay a monthly subscription fee to stream unlimited tracks.
But the idea was reportedly put on hold due to delays in agreements with record labels, thus pushing Google to launch a "music locker" first. This service would be similar to mSpot, allowing users to store the files in the cloud and then re-download them again on Android devices.
Recent;y Google's music service was accidentally verified by Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha. "If you look at Google Mobile services today, there's a video service, there's a music service-- that is, there will be a music service."
An actual music store provided by Google is expected to launch at a later date when details have been ironed out with music labels. Although the current "music locker" service is a start, Google needs a full-fledged music store to better compete with Apple's iOS and iTunes.