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What Google's Music Beta Cloud-Based Service Means For You

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If you're an Android user, Google's newly announced Music Beta service was designed with your devices in mind, but it's far from an iTunes-killer. Here's what the service can and can't do for you.

The service conserves precious mobile memory by letting you transfer your music collection from your laptop to the cloud.

Music Beta also lets you sync playlists among the various devices you stream from--as long as those devices support Flash. The service is also accessible from any browser.

CNET has test-driven Google's music locker and reports that you can't download your entire music library from Google's cloud onto a PC, the way you can with Amazon's Cloud Drive.

Google said that Music Beta will temporarily store recently played songs on the user's devices. A user can also "pin" her favorite tracks or albums from her personal cloud to store on her devices. That way, if a user loses WiFi access, at least some of her music is available to her.

Google also lets users store 20,000 songs for free (for the time being), while Amazon's Cloud Drive allots free space for only 1,000 songs (about 5GB).

With Google facing resistance from major music labels, customers cannot purchase new media directly from Music Beta the way the could from Apple's iTunes or Amazon's Cloud service.

Google will probably announce subscription options when the fleshed-out service launches, which will take place presumably after Google has hammered out more favorable licensing deals with music execs.

Music Beta is currently restricted to U.S. users and can be obtained by invitation only. The service is compatible with Android 2.2 or higher.

To read more about this service's new features and to see a demo video, click here.

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