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Google Music Begins Testing In-House

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Earlier this month, the hacker community discovered a workaround that enabled a Google Music sync on Android phones. After uploading his MP3 library to Google's service, the developer found that the Google Music service synced the files back to a blank SD card.

But will it stream? Will there be a storage limit? Can we share music? Will there be a subscription fee?

Well, it seems like we soon will find out. CNet's Greg Sandoval reports that Google Music has gone live in-house. According to music industry sources, employees are now beta-testing the service -- or dog-fooding -- before its upcoming release.

One of the hold-ups that's preventing an immediate release, Sandoval writes, also gives us an idea of how huge Google Music will be. Negotiations are still ongoing with four of the major record labels and other top publishers, indicating that the service will allow users to purchase music -- targeting iTunes head-on. Sandoval writes, "The delays are largely due to the complexity of the subject matter. Google is after cloud music rights and not just for songs acquired from Google Music."

Along with rumored discussions over Apple's forthcoming cloud service, Google is reportedly forging new ground with the labels.

"Licensing rights for digital lockers of this sort is largely uncharted territory for the labels," Sandoval writes. "There are no templates for these kinds of deals lying around and the record companies want to move cautiously as they assess Apple's and Google's plans."

Apple has already called 2011 the year of the iPad 2. If Google and Apple succeed with putting users' music libraries in the cloud this year, I think we'll have a different name for 2011.

(See also: Google Music Beats iTunes to the Cloud and What Will Be Apple's Next Big Thing?)

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