Google Music: The Big Bird Is Cooked!

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Google’s giant musical bird is now cooked, according to several sources, though label licensing remains a show-stopping snag.

But instead of tinkering and tweaking, sources inside Google are eager to move towards actual launch.  And, many feel it’s beyond ready.  “We actually wanted to launch it [by] now,” one source told Digital Music News on Thursday.  “It’s frustrating but the rest isn’t up to me.”

And, the “rest” is a very tricky licensing process that involves at least one gargantuan holdup – and possibly more.  One major label – which will remain unnamed – appears to be the biggest thorn, but sources preferred to keep those details confidential given the sensitivity of the negotiations.  But a prototype of the service, which features cloud-enabled access to a personal collection, has already leaked, indicated support across all Android devices and Honeycomb-based tablets.

Beyond that, the “rest” of the licensing process remains a black box.  Sources were vague on exactly which licenses remain unsettled, and, for that matter, when they would be resolved.  That naturally invites speculation on when an actual launch will occur, though one near-term possibility includes the Google I/O geekfest in May.  More likely, these negotiations will drag for months – just as they have been for Apple.

Stay tuned.