Google music streaming and syncing spotted in Android Honeycomb

Google is close to revealing a service for storing and streaming music in the cloud, if a feature spotted in Android Honeycomb is any indication. Gmusic, anyone?

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Google is close to revealing a service for storing and streaming music to and from the cloud, if a feature buried in the Android code is any indication. Developers claim to be merrily syncing and streaming their music to and from their devices using Google's Honeycomb music player, BitterWallet reports.

A member of the XDA developers' forum going by the name of WhiteWidows discovered the streaming option after installing CyanogenMod 7, a modified version of the Android operating system that can be installed on to your phone to get extra features. The eagle-eyed tinkerer then removed the standard music player and replaced it with the player from Android version 3.0, known as Honeycomb.

Music stored on the phone was then synced to somewhere on the Web. WhiteWidows took out the music-filled memory card and was still able to listen to the tunes, now pulled from the cloud. Other developers claim to have done it too, but some members of the XDA forum are having problems.

It's not clear where the music is being stored, or whether this means Google's streaming service will see the light of day. But it does mean the big G has the technology in place for the service it has reportedly discussed with music labels, and which was previewed at developer conference Google I/O last year -- skip 33 minutes and 11 seconds into this video to see what we're talking about.

Google has a vast amount of cloud clout, with Gmail, Google Docs and other services based up in the ether. Whatever it's called -- Gmusic? -- Google would be a serious rival to iTunes or streaming services such as Spotify. Apple has long been rumoured to be working on a cloud-based version of iTunes, while Spotify's mobile service with caching of tracks is one of its killer features.

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