Google has reportedly begun internal testing of its new Google Music service, in a move which has led to speculation the streaming system is near to public launch. According to CNET‘s music industry sources, Google employees are dog-fooding Google Music amid ongoing negotiations that have already delayed two planned launch windows.
Google had initially told record companies that Google Music would arrive by the end of 2010, but that deadline came and went. More recently, the company was believed to be targeting a SXSW 2011 debut, though the licensing deals required for the streaming content service failed to materialize in time for the show earlier this month.
The complexity is due to Google wishing to allow users to store their existing music libraries in the cloud, for streaming to various mobile devices, rather than solely music acquired through a new Google Music store. That presents new licensing issues – also believed to be affecting Apple’s cloud music plans – with little in the way of precedents to guide them.