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Google looks set to move into the music market this week, with the expected announcement of Google Music.

The cloud-based music service will go into direct competition with Apple’s iTunes Match and Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player.

The internet giant launched a beta version of Google Music back in May. The service allows users to upload up to 20,000 songs to the cloud, which can then be accessed via a maximum of eight devices.

It also mixes your cloud-based files with those already on your phone or tablet, so you can access your entire music collection from one place.

Automatic syncing

Your music and playlists are automatically synced across all your devices, so if you create a new playlist on your laptop, it’ll be instantly available to listen to on-the-go. And no need to worry if your internet is down or you’re on a flight, Google Music lets you access all your tunes even when you’re offline.

As Google tests the online music water, the service (and all that cloud storage space) is currently free to use. There is also no mp3 download store available on the service at the moment, but all that is expected to change this week.

The rumours have been circulating for months, and with the launch of Google’s Galaxy Nexus android phone on Wednesday, the search giant looks set to announce the much-anticipated music service, complete with cloud storage tariffs and an MP3 store.

Licensing problems

But Google’s first steps into music downloads have not been without their problems, as it has struggled to agree licensing terms with the major music labels. There has always been somewhat of a love-hate relation between the search giant and the music industry over online-piracy and copyright issues.

Google are understood to have secured deals with just two of the four leading record labels – EMI and Universal, which account for a third of music worldwide. Sony Music and Warner Music have not yet signed up.

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