Google gives a sneak peek at what could be an iTunes competitor

Google gave a brief glimpse of what appears to be a Web-based competitor to Apple’s iTunes Store during the company’s keynote session at the I/O developer conference in San Francisco. The service would let users find, purchase and download songs they like in a Web-based store. Google didn’t offer any details on pricing or what record labels the company would work with.

It appears that a recently acquired company called Simplify Media is helping Google power this. The Redwood City-based company makes it easy for consumers to access their music, photos and videos through multiple applications whenever they want. The company made a mysterious announcement two months ago that it was discontinuing its app.

The company said:

“We are unable to share our future plans at this time but hope to be able to announce the re-launch of the technology soon. In the meantime, we will continue to operate the existing service for at least the next 3 months. Many thanks to those of you who have supported us and helped us improve Simplify over the last few years! We hope you will enjoy its future incarnations as well.”

Google has made a few forays into music over the past year. Last fall, it launched a service that let songs show up in search results and partnered with MySpace, Rhapsody, Pandora, Lala (which was later acquired by Apple) and iLike (which was later acquired by MySpace) to provide free initial streams of songs. Consumers have to pay if they want to listen to more, however.

[Photo: Engadget]


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