Google Play Music was launched in Europe in November. Google has now made music available through its online stores in Ireland, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Portugal yesterday morning, bringing the total number of countries that can access the main rival to Apple's iTunes store to 18. One of Google's patents regarding their Music platform was recently published and our report covers the basics. Whether Google legal is able to skirt Apple's many iTunes Store related patents or ignite another patent war is unknown at this time.
Google's Patent Background
Many computing devices allow users to store songs in digitally encoded media files, for playback by the computing device or for transmission to and playback on another device. Examples of these devices are personal computers, tablet computers, dedicated music player devices, and mobile telephones. Users create libraries of songs that are stored on a device, for example, by purchasing the songs from on-line music stores or by copying the music from compact discs or other media. These songs then are accessible on the device and can be played on demand by the user.
As an extension of this capability, these devices allow users to create lists of songs that can be executed to play a series of songs in the order they appear in the list, or in a randomized order. This is a popular feature of music playing devices, as it allows users to create different lists of music for different purposes, such as a music playlist for a party or a music playlist for jogging. Users invest significant amounts of time in developing these playlists.
Some mobile devices, such as mobile phones, have the capability to play music, but have limited storage capability. Also, it is inconvenient to transfer music from one device such as a personal computer and store it on other devices.
Basic Overview of a Single Google Music Platform Patent
Google's invention relates to a method that is performed by one or more server computers. The method includes receiving, from a client, a plurality of music titles for respective music pieces that a user has the right to listen to; determining, for one of the plurality of music titles, that a matching video stored on the server has the respective music piece for the music title as an audio component of the matching video; adding the matching video to a list of matching videos; and storing the list of matching videos on the one or more server computers so that it is accessible to a user associated with the client.
Another aspect of invention relates to a video server including one or more server computers. The video server includes an object store containing a plurality of videos each having an audio component; a search component that receives a plurality of music titles for respective music pieces that a user has the right to listen to and determines, for one of the plurality of music titles, that a matching video of the plurality of videos in the object store has the respective music piece for the music title as an audio component of the matching video; and a list manager that adds the matching video to a list of matching videos and stores the list of matching videos on the one or more server computers so that it is accessible to a user associated with the client and server account.
Like iTunes, Google states that although their invention is in context with music, "the invention can be applied in other contexts. For example, in alternative embodiments, the client side objects and the server side objects could be movies, ebooks, contacts, and other types of media or objects."
While the patent appears to contain characteristics of both Google Play Music and YouTube Music services, the fact is that the mention of presenting ebooks and movies in this application would strongly support the patent slanting towards Google Play Music.
Google filed their patent application under serial number 250187 back in Q3 2011.
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