Google music store ‘weeks away’

Company to take on Apple and Amazon by selling MP3s

Google are ‘weeks away’ from launching a music store that will compete with Apple and Amazon, according to reports.

The New York Times claims that several anonymous music executives have confirmed that the search giant is in negotiations with major record labels about opening an MP3 store and expanding their existing ‘Music Beta’ service, which they launched in May.

According to reports, the store is expected to work in conjunction with their digital music service, which allows users to upload and access their music libraries from a range of portable devices.

The inside sources claim that Google hope to open the store before Apple‘s new cloud service, iTunes Match, becomes operational at the end of October, but it is not yet know whether they will be able to finalise agreements with record labels and publishers in time.

Earlier this year, they were forced to launch ‘Music Beta’ without the support of major record labels because they worried that their proposed ‘smart locker system’ – which would allow users to link their libraries to a central database – would not help prevent piracy.

In June, Apple unveiled their long-awaited iCloud services, which promised to work seamlessly with applications on a user’s iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac or PC to automatically store material in the ‘cloud’ and update each device wirelessly when one is updated manually.

However, they later revealed that the music storage portion of the service will not be fully available in the UK until 2012.