Google's Cloud-based music service may soon give users both the option to buy music and have the highest quality version of their song played back. However, Google is still struggling to win over the labels.
What Google Music Is Looking For
According to the New York Times, who cited "numerous music executives," Google has been working on securing re-sale rights for major songs and albums.
The executives, who are associated with several major labels, stated that Google is moving beyond its previous attempts to secure rights, which requested advanced licensing privileges for the cloud storage of audio files in Google's Music (Beta) service, a cloud storage and playback system for user-uploaded tracks. At the time of the previous negotiations, Google was allegedly looking for rights to both music playback and the right to have a single, high-quality version of a song played back regardless of the quality of the user's original file.
It may be that Google is trying to secure these rights and integrate them in the next few weeks to prepare for the launch of iTunes Match. Match is a new service from iTunes to be released in conjunction with its cloud-based music storage, iCloud. Match allows users to have a 256-Kbps version of their song played back regardless of the original file quality, assuming the iTunes store has the song somewhere in its expansive library.
The current negotiations seek similar playback rights as well as the option to have users purchase music directly.
Neither the labels nor Google have made an official statement on the matter.
Google's Struggle for Music Licensing
The label executives who reported Google's contact indicated that the negotiations are a no-go so far. The primary concern is the same as it has always been: the prevention of piracy.
Google is having a hard time breaking into the music industry, especially since Apple and Amazon, both of whom now offer a cloud-based service, have secured more deals with leaders in the music industry. Google has a long history of friction with the music field, having only recently settled a 4-year lawsuit that targeted unlicensed use of music on YouTube.
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