Google has confirmed it will announce a new music service today that according to reports will allow users to store their music online.
The online storage service will compete with a similar service from Amazon
A Google spokeswoman did not provide further details of the service, which will be called Music Beta by Google. More details will be available later this week on the web site for the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, she said.
The move will pit Google directly against Amazon which launched in March a service that allows users to upload to the cloud the music they purchase from Amazon, and also other music and files.
Google, like Amazon, has not secured licences from the four major recorded-music companies in the US, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
To avoid people misusing the service for music piracy, Google will not allow users to download music from the online lockers, and will only allow them to listen on their devices to music streamed from the online storage, the WSJ report said.
The New York Times quoted Jamie Rosenberg, director of digital content for Android, as saying that a couple of major labels were demanding a set of business terms that were unreasonable in a report on the same service. It is likely to be unveiled at the annual Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco.
The Google service will let users listen to their music on Android phones or tablets and computers, the newspaper reported.
Amazon's service, launched in March, allows users to store their music and other digital files in an Amazon Cloud Drive, and play it back using Amazon's Cloud Player on the Mac, PCs, and phones and tablets running the Android operating system. Apple is also planning to launch a similar online music locker service, according to reports.
Amazon said in March that its customers said that they don't want to download music to their work computers or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices.