Google announces music streaming in beta, movie rentals for Android

Google logoMusic and movie rental services are coming to Android devices straight from Google's labs, the company announced at its I/O conference today. Customers will be able to stream movies from the Android Market and stream their own uploaded music from a service Google is calling "Music Beta." Users can also "pin" both types of media to their devices for offline consumption.

Music Beta, which is currently available by invitation only for Android devices with at least version 2.2, allows users to upload up to 20,000 songs to music.google.com. Customers can then stream the music to any Android device, or "pin" it to the device for local storage. Devices will also be able to automatically cache recently played audio content for offline use. The music service will be free "at least while it's in beta," so here's hoping for a Gmail-style development trajectory.

The movie service, which is now live as a tab in the Android Market, will allow users access to movie rentals at a price of $1.99 per movie. A rented movie will then be streamable or pinnable to any Android device, though Google did not say how long renters will retain access to the video.

Google also made no mention of whether DRM will be used for the movie rentals, but given that Android 3.0 added a new DRM framework, the videos will likely not be in the free and clear. The service appears to be completely unrelated to YouTube's streaming video service, where 3,000 Hollywood titles were just added.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Google, Google+

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