Google has a huge blog post here related to their product announcements
On November 13, we’re bringing music on Google Play to Europe. Those of you in the U.K, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be able to purchase music from the Google Play store and add up to 20,000 songs—for free—from your existing collection to the cloud for streaming to your Android devices or web browser. We’re also launching our new matching feature to streamline the process of uploading your personal music to Google Play. We’ll scan your music collection and any song we match against the Google Play catalog will be automatically added to your online library without needing to upload it, saving you time. This will be available in Europe at launch on November 13 and is coming to the U.S. soon after. This will all be for free—free storage of your music, free matching, free syncing across your devices and free listening.
The most important part is highlighted. Sound familiar? It should – it is basically the same thing that Apple introduced with iTunes Match and Amazon followed up with Cloud Match. It scans your local music library and matches items to the Google Play library and places those in YOUR Google Music Cloud Library. From there you can access them remotely from any device.
The big difference? The usual. Whereas Apple and Amazon make their money selling things to you, Google makes their money selling you. The upside is that makes the (up to 20,000 song) service free compared to the $25 you’ll be paying Apple or Amazon annually. On the downside, unlike with Amazon’s Kindle line there is no fee to pay to keep Google from selling advertisers the knowledge of your extensive Partridge Family collection.
We don’t have a release date or estimate of when it will come to the U.S., nor any explicit release of how much is in their library. But from my perspective with a ~25,000 song iTunes library heavily populated with jazz of all eras as well as pop, rock, techno/electronica, hip-hop and so on – their service is abysmal: they have less coverage than iTunes, Amazon, Rdio, MOG, Spotify or Slacker to be certain. I checked out a half dozen jazz releases (major labels) I have bought between iTunes and Amazon … and Google Music had none. NONE. Even the latest by legendary guitarist John McLaughlin is missing. Sad.
Also, we know that Google limits daily streaming, but won’t discuss that limit – but it is yet something else to think about.
Will I use it? Of course! It is free, and even if it matches 10% of my library (being optimistic here) that will be something!