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Google's New Tune

Oh, that Google. Its sweeping ambition never ceases to amaze us. This time, according to various reports, it's building a music service, which the search giant has spent the last month or so bolstering with content from major music labels.

What else is known and not known about the service? It might be named Google Audio, according to TechCrunch (which broke the news). Also, it's nothing like the music download service that Google China launched in 2008, but it's not clear whether it will based on downloads, streams, or both.

According to MediaMemo, the service will actually be named, "One Box," will only be offering limited bits of music, and will rely on other companies to actually provide the tunes.

How will it work? Punch in, say, "Jay Z", and you'll be presented with one or more songs, which may be partial clips or full-length versions, then guided to other sites where you can purchase the music.

But, insists MediaMemo, "If you're looking for Google to launch a rival to Apple's iTunes (AAPL), or music streaming services like iMeem and MySpace Music, this isn't it." (In fact, iLike -- the music startup that MySpace purchased earlier this year -- and will actually be providing music to Google, industry sources tell MediaMemo.)

But that isn't stopping publications like eWeek from running headlines like, "Google May Launch Music Service to Challenge Apple iTunes," and then leading off their stories with leads like, "Google is set to challenge Apple, Spotify and several players in the digital music space by launching Google Audio."

Read the whole story at Tech Crunch et al. »

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