Google announced Music Beta, a new cloud-base music program, yesterday at the 2011 I/O conference. It’s long been rumored that Google had been working on such a project, but its release at I/O took the tech world by storm.
This new streaming music service will give music fanatics an all-web alternative to iTunes, while providing them with free storage for up to 20,000 songs. In contrast, Amazon’s Cloud Drive only supports 1,000.
Google has also managed to make the process of getting your digital collection into the service. When you add new music to your computer, it can be automatically added to your music collection online. Furthermore, you can upload music files from any folder or add your iTunes library and all of your playlists.
You can create your own custom playlists with just a few clicks, or use the ‘Instant Mix feature to automatically build new playlists of songs from your collection that go great together. All the playlists you create and all the changes you make to them are automatically available everywhere your music is (which is everywhere now).
The related Android app features all of the same functionality as the Web player, and playlists created on one device will instantly be available on all devices. Recently-played music is conveniently cached by the mobile player, and albums can also be downloaded and stored for playback when data connections aren’t available.
Music Beta is currently only available by invitation and is also free (but it’s not certain whether it will remain that way). Google’s updated music app with Music Beta support is available in the Android Market as well.
You can request an invitation to try out Google’s Music Beta at Music.Google.com.