Google sent out invites to Music Beta - their new cloud-based music service they announced during Google I/O last month - and whilst the number of tweets covering the announcement reached into the thousands, the reviews are mixed.
One has to wonder how many first round invitations were sent out for the product, but judging by the Twitter mentions it had to be large and was global - as opposed to their usual method of trying one country first. The product had been launched last month to a very small handful in the United States, but this second sending of invitations went to people all over the world.
The service offers users the ability to upload up to 20,000 songs that can then be accessed on Android devices and computers when you sign in with your Google account. But the service is not accessible on Apple platforms.
Apple, in what some are calling a counter, announced iCloud yesterday - their version of cloud hosting for music, but also includes other file types. Access to this service is not available on non-Apple phones or tablets and will not be available for use until the fall.
These two products are similar to the Amazon Cloud player that got there first. Both Apple and Amazon give a small amount of storage or service for free but are charging money for upgrades or additional storage. PCMag provides a good comparison table of the three.
The feature Apple offers for $25 a year is the ability not to have to upload your music which takes a long time using the other two. Apple will look at the songs you have and use their own versions to populate your account - you can get this without paying if you bought the songs through iTunes - but the charge comes in if you want to do it for other music you have on your system. You even get the best digital version.
How these three battle in to the future over cloud products has yet to be seen, but the battle has begun.