New York Times is reporting that Google may be ready to finally launch an MP3 store in the coming weeks, possibly in the same time with the launch of Android 4.0. A few music executives let the cat out of the bag a bit early, and that always worries me because they're probably trying to force Google's hand to accept their terms now that everyone knows they wanted to launch it in the next few weeks.
Google has been trying to sign a deal with the music labels for almost 2 years now, and they almost did it a year ago, but got cancelled, and then before Google I/O, and again the deal was cancelled, leading to Google only launching their file locker service which they've named Music Beta.
The reason was because the music labels are being very unreasonable, and it's probably not just about the money they are asking for the music, although I'm sure they are asking for money for the ability to "stream" that music to the user, besides getting paid when the user buys the songs. But they've also asked Google to censor their search results for them, which I think is unacceptable, and could hurt Google's image a lot in the long term if they agree to it.
So I don't know what Google's new deal is with the music labels, but I wouldn't get too excited about Google Music Store arriving in the next few weeks or with the launch of Android 4.0. It's very possible that once again the negotiations will break down at the last moment.
Also, although it's very likely that this will be just a store like iTunes, I hope it will be more like an all you can eat subscription that you pay per month and can listen to as many songs as you want. I think they need something like that if they want to disrupt iTunes. Just replicating the iTunes model won't work for them. It hasn't worked that well for Amazon either. But an all you can eat subscription could turn things around, and Google could become the leader of such music services because of the reach of Android. Either way, let's just wait and see what they announce on October 19th, or in the next few weeks.