At the Google I/O conference recently held in San Francisco, Google unveiled their new music delivery service called Google Music. It’s a still-in-beta cloud-based server for music across various platforms, chief of which would be Google’s own Android smartphones and tablets.

If you’re a stranger to Cloud Computing, it is simply a means of minimizing the need for data and hardware to exist on client devices – instead hosting the files and powerful hardware on large cloud servers for safekeeping. It’s key advantages are basically taking away the need for massive storage or powerful hardware on devices – chief of which is to keep your data portable and handy for backups and easy to share with other people. Keeping your data the traditional way, locally, usually means the need large storage drives and keeping them relatively safe from damage. Cloud storage fixes that by having your files available online wherever you are and whenever you need it through whichever device you need it for.

That said, Google Music Beta is pretty much a cloud server and delivery service for your music. Right now, you can store up to 20,000 songs from your library by uploading them to their servers. This would, in turn, allow you to access your music from multiple devices through your Google Music account. The service supports Android devices with offline caching and desktops for possible playback when you’re away from your music storage. Currently, the service is in Beta and will be free for the duration, however subscription plans will take effect after the beta period. No music purchasing is available as well – record labels were at some point contacted, but were deemed too difficult to strike deals with.

You can sign up for the service now on the Google Music website – limited to US residents only – but with promise of international deployment soon.

Source: Google Support