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Google Music is set to challenge Apple’s iTunes

googlemusic_leadGoogle’s Music product has arrived. It is now letting users to use the “scan and match” service so they can make a copy of their songs in Google’s remote servers for free, in contrast to a similar product of Apple that charges a $25 per year.

Launched last Tuesday, Google Music service decreases the upload time of users who want to make a backup copy of their music libraries online. It looks for music files in a computer and gives users access to their songs, so long as they match the songs on Google’s servers. Otherwise, the service will upload the detected  songs to a user’s online vault.

Google Music is similar to Apple Inc’s iTunes Match, which also includes an online locker that can hold up to 25,000 songs. Google’s offering allows only up to 20,000 songs that can stored and retains the same quality as the uploaded songs. Apple automatically upgrades stored songs to iTune’s quality.

Google is a new player in the music sales industry following the debut of its online store in November 2011. It expects to reap benefits from the hundreds of millions of devices around the world running the Android operating system.

NPD Group said that Apple takes up 64 percent of the total U.S. music sales online. Amazon followed at 16 percent, while Google takes up more than 5 percent. Other services take up the rest, according to NPD Group.

Google initially sold songs at discounted prices, though it has changed now. An example was the selling of popular Bruno Mars song “Locked Out of Heaven” for $1.29 last Wednesday, which was the same price on iTunes, and more expensive than Amazon’s 99-cent offering.

However, Google’s album price was offered at a lower $10.49 price, compared to iTunes’ and Amazon’s $10.99.

source: huffingtonpost