Google's much rumoured but still not confirmed music service is looking to launch this side of Christmas, according to industry sources.
Wired is reporting that Google's Andy Rubin – who pioneered Android – is meeting with music execs about the service, explaining to them just what Google Music will entail.
Convergence seems to be the key for Google, with it looking to find a seamless way to port music onto Android phones, desktops and the cloud.
Search is the key
One unnamed label exec – he probably fears that if he is unmasked he will never get any of Google's lovely food served at its headquarters again – said about Google's plans: "Finally here's an entity with the reach, resources and wherewithal to take on iTunes as a formidable competitor by tying it into search and Android mobile platform.
"What you'll have is a very powerful player in the market that's good for the music business."
By putting a music service on to Android-based handsets – something the platform sorely needs – it would mean the service has an instant user base, but the main problem so far is trying to make a service that works in the cloud.
Everyone was hoping that iTunes 10 would be this service, instead all we got was some social-networking flourishes added to a tied down system.
If Google Music does launch before Christmas, then this may well be the USP it needs to convince users to ditch Apple's service.
And the signs are already there – given that the search giants bought up streaming service Simplify Media back in May.
Then again, Apple has Lala and it's not exactly used that to propel it into the cloud yet.