Feeds

Hidden in plain view: Google Music's stealth infrastructure

Catalog and payments? Check...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Along with world+dog, I overlooked very something important this week. I was wondering why, to launch its new music service, Google would want to get into the messy and thankless business of administering rights. Best to leave the region-by-region haggles to someone else, I reckoned.

But Google is already in the business of administering music rights - and nobody's noticed yet, because it's hidden in plain view.

It's called YouTube AudioSwap, and it's really quite clever. When you upload a video to YouTube with a music soundtrack, you can opt for your low bitrate version to be replaced by a superior quality master recording from Google's own extensive collection of master recordings. What's that, you ask - you're saying that Google has an extensive collection of master recordings already? Indeed it does. Fully licensed, with publishing information.

Some might call this a catalog.

As my source reminds me, this in itself is a considerable achievement. Probably on a par with the investment chucked at any music startup in recent years.

But it's also more than that - Google is not only serving up the bits, but gradually acquiring a master database of who owns what. Thanks to historical fragmentation, inertia and incompetence, this is something the music business hasn't quite gotten round to doing for itself yet.

YouTube is already the world's most popular destination for music - the global jukebox, if you will. And if they continue to snooze, creators will one day wake up and discover that there is but one digital music performing rights society in the world, and it's housed in a Chocolate Factory. And they'll receive whatever the Oompa Loompa feel they're entitled to receive.

Books was just a dry run.

Managers like to complain about performing rights organisations' black boxes. They forget the biggest Black Box in the world is Google's advertising system - the one it misleadingly describes as an auction. Get up to speed here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.