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the future

Google Has a Music-Locker Service Now, Too

Your options for storing music remotely via giant corporations have now doubled: Introduced to the world today was Music Beta by Google, a locker service pretty much identical to Amazon's Cloud Drive. A few big differences: It won't be widely available right away (you have to request an invite); the initial max song count is 20,000; and the service comes with a promising-sounding feature called Instant Mix that pulls together a playlist based on one song from your library. More notable is the fact that Google's vision for the service would have been different — involving a centralized server that would match songs in users' libraries — if those pesky record labels would have just removed their blinders and taken a good hard look at the future. Google director of content partnerships Zahavah Levine put everyone on blast: "We've been in negotiations with the industry for a different set of features, with mixed results ... [But] a couple of major labels were less focused on innovation and more on demanding unreasonable and unsustainable business terms." (Billboard's sources Sony Music Group and Universal Music Group were the ones holding things up). Okay, Apple's up next — let's see what they do with it. [Billboard]