[UPDATE] Google announced on Tuesday that it will launch the beta version of its cloud-based music service, Music Beta by Google. Get an early look at the service (here) and find out what Music Beta means for you (here).
[PREVIOUSLY] According to the Wall Street Journal, Google will be announcing an online music service at its I/O 2011 event. The Journal's "people familiar with the matter" suggest it will be similar to Amazon's Cloud Drive, which launched earlier this year and is more like a Web-based hard drive than a subscription service like Spotify or Rdio.
Launching as an invite-only beta today, Google's simply titled 'Music Beta By Google' service will reportedly function as an online music locker that can store 20,000 songs for free -- Amazon only offers 1,000 songs. Reports suggest Google had trouble negotiating with record labels, and is pushing ahead without a music store or the ability for users to share songs. Google's Jamie Rosenberg told All Things D's Peter Kafka, "Unfortunately, a couple of the major labels were less focused on the innovative vision that we put forward, and more interested in in an unreasonable and unsustainable set of business terms."
Much like Amazon's Cloud Drive, the service is likely to let users upload music, and then stream it over the Web to their desktop, Android phone, tablet, or any other device that supports Flash. This, of course, will probably leave iPad and iPhone users out at launch.
All Google users in the U.S. should have access to the service "within weeks," and The New York Times reports that invites for the service will go first to Motorola Xoom users, leaving everyone else to sign up at music.google.com.
See our guide to Google's I/O conference here.