This week, Google launched their new Google Music beta service, a cloud-based digital locker for all your music that’s capable of streaming to your phone or tablet as well as playing online. It’s similar to a service that Amazon recently launched, minus the ability to buy or discover any new music whatsoever, leaving people to wonder why they should sit in line for an invite to Google’s service rather than just use one of the dozens of services currently available on the Market.
It’s no secret that Google wanted this service to be better. Whispers of Google talking with music industry execs have been floating back and forth for months now until it was recently reported that Google’s negotiations with the record labels had stalled out. Well, now we know why: it turns out that, in addition to the usual squabbles over money, the record labels also wanted Google to remove P2P sites from its search results.
Needless to say, this would be a huge problem for Google. This walks into borderline censorship territory, not to mention tarnishing Google’s already struggling mantra of keeping the internet free and open. If Google starts censoring search results based on their deals with partners, what’s to stop them from expanding this power? Search results are a powerful tool and if they can be modified based on who’s doing business with Google, the internet is in for a world of hurt.
I was mildly disappointed by the lack of any real music store when this service launched, but if the alternative is blocking sites that recording industry executives don’t like from appearing in Google, then I’m more than happy to do without.
Back to Rdio.