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Google launches 'scan and match' music service

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 11:39 am

LOS ANGELES – Google is turning on a "scan and match" service for Google Music users to store copies of their songs online, offering for free what Apple charges $25 a year for.

The service, which launched Tuesday, cuts uploading time for those who want to save their music libraries online. It scans a user's computer and gives them online access to the songs it finds, as long as they match the songs on its servers. Otherwise, it will upload songs to a user's online locker.

The service is similar to Apple Inc.'s iTunes Match, which includes online storage for 25,000 songs. Google Inc. allows storage for 20,000 songs and allows users to re-download the songs only at the same quality as they were at previously. Apple upgrades songs to iTunes quality.

Amazon runs a similar matching and uploading service called Cloud Player. It costs $25 a year for 250,000 songs. A free version is limited to 250 songs.