Flashback: Moscone Center, San Francisco. Google’s Vic Gundotra is pacing the stage, rolling off one new awesome Android feature after another. There’s Fro Yo, the new version of Android that does laps (literally) around iOS. And then for a real a-ha moment: a sneak peek at Google Music, a service that would let you purchase songs from your desktop and ‘push’ them to your phone wirelessly, among other things. It was billed as a preview and no firm date was given, but nobody guessed we’d be waiting for a full year. But there were delays, deals didn’t get worked out, and Google was beaten to the punch by Amazon’s Cloud Drive, which launched in March.
This evening the WSJ reported that after a year of (failed) discussions with the labels Google will finally be launching a music service tomorrow at Google I/O — and it’s very similar to Amazon’s, which also doesn’t have approval from the labels. I spoke with Google’s Jamie Rosenberg, head of digital content and strategy for Android, who confirmed the news. And while he says that Google will improve on Amazon’s offering in many ways, one month from now I’m guessing it will look significantly less impressive.