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Google launches subscription music service

Google Play Music All Access will launch Wednesday in the US and cost $9.99 per month.

Google is rolling out a subscription music service that will bring users unlimited access to millions of songs in return for a monthly fee.

Google Play Music All Access will be available in the U.S. from Wednesday and cost $9.99 per month, the company announced at its Google I/O conference in San Francisco Wednesday.

Users get a 30-day free trial and, if they sign up before June 30, will get a $2 discount on the monthly fee. Google didn't announce launch plans for other countries.

"We set out to build a music service that didn't just give you access to a world of music but helped you explore it," said Chris Yerga, Android engineering director at Google, during a presentation at I/O.

"What if we gave you access to millions of tracks from our store in addition to your music?," he said. "We built that service, and today I'm happy to announce Google Play Music All Access, a uniquely Google approach to a music service."

The service splits music into 22 genres. It presents users with playlists based on their personal music library, key songs and albums from the genre, and some custom music curated by music editors at Google.

"Anything you see you can immediately start playing," said Yerga. Of course, the service does require a network connection for that to happen.

Google will also create a "radio station," a subscriber-editable playlist of songs based on the one playing.

A function called Listen Now "brings the power of Google to surface music we know you're going to love," he said.

Google already offers millions of song downloads on its Play Store. The service lets users upload up to 20,000 songs to Play for free, which can then be accessed on the web or any Android device. The songs in Google Play Music All Access will be available for purchase from the store.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com


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