Today at its ‘These Go To 11‘ special event, Google just announced that Google Music — which launched over the summer in a private, invite-only beta — is open to everyone.
The service allows you to upload your music library and stream it to all of your other devices. And while Google had initially stated this would be a premium service after the Beta ended, it has some good news: it’s going to continue free of charge. You can upload and store up to 20,000 of your songs without having to pay anything.
Google is also fixing Music’s biggest issue: you’ll now be able to purchase music via Android Market, which will let you purchase ‘millions’ of songs. Users can listen to 90 second previews before they buy.
There’s also some deep (and siginficant) Google+ integration: buy a song, and you’ll have the option to share that song to Google+ — and your friends will be able to listen to the entire song without having to leave their Google+ stream. They won’t have to buy anything and they won’t need to sign into a different account. This is big.
Update: I just shared my first song to Google+ using this feature, and there’s one catch Google didn’t mention: only people who are in your Circles can listen to the full track — if someone has Circled you (i.e., they’re following you), but you haven’t Circled them back, then they’ll only get a sample of the song.
Google Music’s new features are available immediately via music.google.com, and updated Android apps will be released in the next few days.
The labels who are on board: Universal, EMI, Sony Music (the holdout from the ‘big 4’ is Warner). Also includes numerous indy labels, ioda, The Orchard, and others.
To help get people to check out Google Music, Google has secured exclusive music from major artists, including some free tracks. Among the bands offering exclusives: The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Busta Rhymes, Shakira, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band.
The Stones will be releasing 6 live concert albums, which haven’t been released before.They’re launching one concert album initially, and will release the five others over 2012. Busta Rhymes will be debuting his new album exclusively on Google Music.