Google Music Vs. Apple’s Upcoming iCloud

Google recently launched its music cloud service and already it has been met with a lukewarm response. While the tech powering Google’s latest foray in to the cloud is great, it’s being kneecapped and may not last against Apple’s upcoming cloud streaming service.

What Is Google Music?

Google Music at its core is a web based storage locker for music you upload and can stream anywhere. Storage is limited to 20 GB and the service is in beta. Google isn’t charging users who upload music to the service but that can very quickly change when it exits Beta. However, you must request an invite to use Google Music.

The advantage Google Music has being able to stream to Android Tablets. MP3, AAC, WMA and FLAC files are supported but Apple’s M4p and M4A files can’t be used. However, it’s hindered by record label support. Song purchases are done outside of Google through a media portal.

Comparing It To iCloud

Apple’s potential offering, dubbed iCloud would be similar yet different enough from Google’s music service.

Apple reportedly has deals with all of the major labels to stream music (which requires a different license than selling music. The features that will set iCloud apart from Google Music is the integrated iTunes store functionality and the ability to mirror a user’s library without having to upload their music. This effectively means that Apple hosts your music based on your purchases or will give you the option to buy a song for streaming and local use.

What Google Needs To Do To Win

While Google Music has some serious backing, it doesn’t have the record label’s support which is a make-or-break deal when it comes to selling music. Google faces some serious competition from Apple as the iTunes store integrates very heavily with the Mac and iOS. Here’s what Google needs to do.

Google needs to get the record label’s backing for music purchases. Doing so is similar to making a deal with the devil but it would at least put Google on equal footing in terms of music offering. Google also need to offer support for at least Apple’s own lossless and lossy media formats.

Google does have the advantage of leveraging Android’s large install base. Marketing an enhanced Google Music to theme would bring up its user base and in turn market Android.