Opinion Brief

Google's 'promising' new movie and music services

In its race for dominance with Apple and Amazon, the tech titan ups the stakes by announcing cloud-based streaming for Android

Google made an aggressive push into the entertainment business on Tuesday, unveiling a new online music locker and a movie-rental service. Google's Music Beta lets users upload 20,000 songs in an online account and stream them to a computer or mobile device. The mobile Android Market will start renting thousands of recent Hollywood movies for $1.99, for wireless viewing on Android smartphones and tablets. How do these "promising" new services stack up to rival offerings from Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and other competitors?

Good... but not good enough: Rolling out music and movie streaming is a big step forward for Google, especially in its fight with Apple for dominance in the phone and tablet realm, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. But it "won't likely close the considerable lead that Apple" has. The slick new movie-rental streaming will give Apple and Netflix real competition, but Music Beta suffers from lack of a music store and the tedious need for users to upload gigabytes of songs."Google ups mobile competition with music and movies"

What's not to love about Music Beta? The movie rentals are nothing special, says Sam Diaz in ZDNet. But Google's music cloud is awesome. Who cares that its more ambitious plans were scuttled by greedy record labels? "If Google wants to do music right and gain some traction here... it’s about offering a good user interface and plenty of storage on the cloud." And 20,000 songs is much better than Amazon's 2,000 or so, and Apple's... well, zero so far."Google I/O: Music, movies and more Android"

May the best service win: Google just picked several new fights: With Apple, Amazon, and Netflix, but also with Microsoft and other tech heavyweights, says Michael Humphrey in Forbes. Well, like Patrick Swayze in Road House, "Google will take on anyone, the fight is messy, it doesn't always win but it crowd-sources its way out of a pinch." Apple, on the other hand, is more like Jason Bourne: "Locked-down, sleek, calm, and generally fights alone." With a great slugfest like that, the winner is probably us. Enjoy!"Google vs. Apple: 'Road House' vs. 'Bourne'"

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