“Those of you in the U.K, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be able to purchase music from the Google Play store and add up to 20,000 songs—for free—from your existing collection to the cloud for streaming to your Android devices or web browser,” explains Andy Rubin, Google’s SVP of mobile and digital content, in a blog post.
“We’re also launching our new matching feature to streamline the process of uploading your personal music to Google Play. We’ll scan your music collection and any song we match against the Google Play catalog will be automatically added to your online library without needing to upload it, saving you time.”
What’s more, Europe will be getting this feature before the US. “This will be available in Europe at launch on November 13 and is coming to the U.S. soon after,” writes Rubin. “This will all be for free—free storage of your music, free matching, free syncing across your devices and free listening.”
It’s an important step if Google’s cloud music service is to compete with those from Apple, Sony and Amazon. Like the latter, Google chose to launch its original cloud service without licensing deals, and thus without scan-and-match functionality.
Google has also finally inked a deal with Warner Music Group to add its catalogue to the store, giving it a full set of major labels.
Rubin’s announcement came alongside details of new Nexus-branded Android devices from Google. It has worked with LG on the Nexus 4 smartphone, which has a 4.7-inch display, quad-core processor and a new Photo Sphere photography application.
Google is also launching a new Android tablet, the Nexus 10, made by Samsung. It promises a 10-inch display with a mighty 300 pixels-per-inch (ppi) resolution (by contrast, Apple’s iPad has 264 ppi). The existing 7-inch Nexus 7 has also been given a new top-end version with 32GB of storage and mobile data connectivity.