There is a World Outside the United States of America

A couple of days ago I was chatting with my Android Police colleagues on HipChat when one of the contributors gasped that the "" page was LIVE!

To the uninitiate Google has recently announced that they will be creating an online music market/storage platform for users to buy music and store their already purchased music. Details on the exact workings of this new service are light, however early previews appear to be positive.

Read the multitude of (p)reviews of the service if you are interested. Frankly, I am not. I lost interest a couple of minutes after trying use the service. Since I wasn't located in the grand ol' US of A, I was blocked from even registering.

I know there are services, such as Spotify, which are not available in the States, and it isn't as though the rest of the world is bereft of innovation (see for example Creative Technology which was started in Singapore), but when one of the world's largest technology companies, creating a potentially game changing product decides to leave most of the world in the dark, one is left questioning their motivation.

It is a little unclear to me why Google has denied access to this service for non-US users. I can understand that for services such as Spotify and Pandora universal use is limited by record label contracts and other agreements. However, according to Google themselves, the current iteration of Google Music is a shadow of what it was originally intended: combining music storage, streaming, discovery and purchase. Instead a breakdown in negotiations led Google to launch what is essentially a cleaner version of MP3Locker combined with a Grooveshark-like interface. However, unlike those services users must manually upload each and every one of their songs (up to a max of 20,000) to their Google Music account. This is a tedious process which could take days for music aficionados with large collections. Essentially, Google Music is like any other storage service (a-la Dropbox, Skydrive, etc.) with a web and mobile streaming interface. Hence, I am unable to fathom why they would limit this service to the USA.

The alternate theory is that Google wants a smaller user-base to manage initially before a global release. But, everyone knows that the majority of computer users are in the US, or at least the majority that would be the likely users of this service. It is doubtful whether opening up this service globally would create such high demand that Google would be unable to manage the load.
Suffice to say I am displeased that I am not allowed to use this service. Doubly so since the service will only be free for a limited period.

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