Android users have a lot of options when it comes to music. Amazon's MP3 Store has become a de facto Android music platform, and there's plenty of 3rd party stores and apps that offer paid and free song downloads. Google's going head-to-head with Amazon with its cloud-based Google Music, but according to the New York Times, they may be after a more direct sales model with a full-on MP3 store.
Google's no stranger to direct media sales. Google Books has been selling free and paid books for over a year, and the Android Market now rents movies and other videos to phones and tablets. But several music executives (all, apparently, without names) say that Google is preparing its music store for a launch very soon. The store would be integrated with Google Music Beta in the same way that Amazon's Cloud Player and Apple's iCloud are already working
The search giant has been down this road before. Google wanted to introduce a music locker service earlier this year, but negotiations with music labels broke down. If they've finally secured the rights from from the musical powers that be, as Amazon and Apple have already done, Android could finally have an integrated music store. It'd be almost impossible for anyone to catch up with iTunes, at least in the short term, but the competition would certainly be a plus.
Could a Google MP3 store be yet another announcement at the upcoming Nexus Prime/Ice Cream Sandwich event in Hong Kong? Keep an eye on Android Community Tuesday night to find out.