It has been a long time in coming, but today the Google Music store officially launched. Previously, the beta of Google Music was primarily a music storage service for users to upload their music catalogs to make available on the web and mobile devices , although Google has been providing free tracks from independent musicians. The Google Music store is a section of the Android Market, which you can directly access at market.android.com/music.
The store contains 13 million tracks from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, and several independent music labels. Google is also providing what they call the Artist Hub where any artist who has the rights to distribute their own music can upload and and see their music on their own page in the store.
Google Music works like Amazon’s MP3 Music store and Cloud Drive in that the music you purchase is automatically stored in cloud storage, which you can access from any device. It is not clear whether storing music you purchase counts against the 20,000 limit for uploading personal music to the Google Music cloud.
Google is also integrating the Music store with Google+, you can share a free full play of a song with people in your circles, or you can share a preview of a song with other Google+ users who are not in your circles. Sharing is done from the Google Music web app and is not available from the Google Music Android app.
A new version of the Android app has been released to coincide with the full availability of the service, however, the app does not have any new features. Particularly surprising is that there isn’t an option in the Android app to purchase music, for now you have to buy music from the Google Music web app. I expect that an upgrade will soon come for the Android Market app that supports Music, and most likely the Music app will integrate in some way with the Market.