Monday, October 29, 2012

Google Music to roll out scan-and-match feature soon

Credit: Greg Sandoval/CNET
Greg Sandoval/CNet

Google plans to roll out its version of a scan-and-match feature for the company's music service possibly as early as this week, CNET has learned.

The company was to announce the feature today, as well as other updates to entertainment media at Google Play during a press event in New York that was supposed to mark the debut of the latest version of its Android operating system, according to multiple music industry sources. The search company cancelled the event due to hurricane Sandy.

Last month, CNET reported that Google was close to obtaining the licenses it needed to launch the service. Google is now expected to launch scan and match in Europe first and the United States soon after, according to CNET's sources.

Scan and match is the term used to describe a process whereby a user's music can be stored on the computer servers of a host service. The service can then stream songs over the Internet to the user's choice of Web-connected music players. The one deciding benefit of scan and match is that it saves the user from the time-consuming process of uploading each individual track to a host's servers.

Google representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Last month, CNET reported that Google planned to offer the feature free, which would certainly make it more attractive than the the same features offered by competitors, Apple and Amazon. Both of those companies require a $25 annual fee for their versions of the feature.There's an arms racing going on in online music to offer consumers cheaper music and more convenience. Scan and match was one of the areas where competition between Apple, Amazon and Google were trying to one up each other.

There's no word yet on whether Google will still offer its service for free.

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