Can Google Music and Froyo overthrow the iPod-iTunes-iPhone monarchy?

Google is reportedly gearing up for a launch of Google Music, a move to go head to head with Apple and iTunes, starting this fall.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive
The one thing I'm most looking forward to in my forthcoming Android update - aka Froyo - is the enhanced music feature that promises to unleash wireless streaming from my personal iTunes music library to my Droid Incredible.

Like many others, I'm deeply entrenched in Apple's music ecosystem, an iPod player populated with music purchased from or ripped into iTunes, indexed and cataloged in Apple's format. Now that I've plunged into the world of Android, though, I'd like to turn my device into a true iPhone replacement - and that includes music.

Also see: Top 10 ways the HTC Droid Incredible killed my iPhone envy

When I saw Google demo the Froyo feature at Google I/O last month, it started to make sense - Google marched in to the mobile device scene with a small (and growing) army of devices and targeted the iPhone-deprived consumers, those of us non-AT&Ters. First, they sold us on Android as a phone. Then came the big push into Apps. Now, as the Android army has grown bigger, it's time to head into the next battlefield: music. CNET's Greg Sandoval is reporting that Google could launch a music service with song downloads and streaming music by this fall, citing music sector insiders. Granted, it's not the first to try to take on iTunes. Amazon, for example, has a nice digital storefront - but hasn't been able to gain enough traction to become a threat. But Amazon was missing something that Google now has: a device with a brand name that is spreading like wildfire as the iPhone alternative. Actually, it's a brand for the platform, not any of the devices (Droid excluded). But that's just a technicality for the consumer who can walk into any wireless carrier store and simply ask for an Android phone and have the clerk point one out - now, alongside the brand spanking new iPhone 4 at AT&T stores. The deeper I find myself getting into the world of Android, the more I look for ways out of the iPod-iTunes world. Why? In a sense, I feel like Apple has moved on and is leaving behind those of us unwilling to hop on board the AT&T bus to get to the next level of the iPod experience. Sure, I have an iPod Touch and it's a great experience when I'm home or someplace else where there's WiFi. But what I really wanted was an iPhone - and only those willing to pay for poor service were allowed to take the next step with the company. I wasn't willing to do that. As Google ups its offerings with Android, it continues to squash reasons for me to want to stay locked into Apple's world of music. I wonder if craigslist will see a jump in "iPod Touch For Sale" ads once Froyo is widely deployed.
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