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.