Google has finally taken the wraps off its music storage service at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco today.

Music Beta by Google will allow users to store 20,000 songs on the cloud, which can be made available anywhere online. The service will initially be free, but only available to Android 2.2 users and above.

However, as predicted, the service won't launch with the ability to buy new music directly after Google failed to agree deals with the key record studios.

Presently, it's invite-only and only available in the US.

What Music Beta does offer, like Amazon's Cloud Drive, is the chance to store your entire music library in one place without the hassle of constantly syncing devices and playlists.

Offline play

Even if you're offline, Music Beta will store the songs you've recently played in the cache making them still available if you lose your 3G or Wi-Fi connection.

You can also select the artists, albums and playlists that you wish to be made available offline.

The service is now live, in Beta form, but if you want to get on board, you'll have to request an invitation from music.google.com. Motorola Xoom owners will get priority apparently.

The announcement means that Google actually has beaten Apple to the punch in the cloud storage wars, but without a means of buying new music, Apple's own service is likely to have the advantage.