The Fresh Egg blog
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As Apple work on their next version of iTunes, it looks as though Google could be about to launch their own music service; Google Music.
A recent Chinese language Google page (screenshot above, or you can check out the page HERE), appears to offer Google users streaming or regular downloading capabilities, and looks to be a prototype of a cloud based rival to iTunes. An article from the Wall Street Journal suggests that Google plan to launch the service in 2010, with a subscription version to be added in 2011.
Rumours of a Google music service have been around for nearly a year now, but for the first time it actually look as though Google is competing in this market; trying to beat Apple to the punch for a dedicated streaming music service, as Apple announced it would be previewing iTunes' own streaming service later this year (initial reports suggest September).
It seems as though the ongoing battle between the two giants is far from slowing down, after the first bout when Google launched Android to rival Apple's hugely popular iPhone. Google aren't backing off the way Apple have been doing things either, with reports that Google Music will offer music syncing with the Android, meaning Google Music will likely ship with Android 3.0 Gingerbread (set for release later this year).
So with Google Music and a streaming version of iTunes both set to be released before Christmas, the Google vs. Apple war looks set to become even more interesting in the next 6-12 months.
Microsoft aren't letting this pass them by however, after they added an entertainment vertical to the Bing search engine towards the end of last month. It allows you to play music streamed from Zune, get details on upcoming tours, find lyrics and displays buy now links within the results for any song, album or artist.
Adding this to their search engine was an attempt to better position themselves as an entertainment search and discovery tool, taking on Google at their own game. While Google also allow for have links to stream music within their search results, Bing offer a more complete service with additional links and information.
So while Google have been busy worrying about Apple, Microsoft have been launching services designed to improve on those already offered by their main search rivals.
Who do you think will be the most popular online source for full-track streaming, downloading and additional music resources? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.