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Google launches aggregated entertainment service

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Google has stepped up its efforts to cater to users in a multi-screen environment with a cloud-based entertainment portal, Google Play, that pushes music, movies, books and apps on the web and Android phones and tablets.

The marketplace will form an umbrella over existing services including Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore, starting today.

“Google Play is entirely cloud-based so all your music, movies, books and apps are stored online, always available to you, and you never have to worry about losing them or moving them again,” said Jamie Rosenberg, director of digital content at Google.

Google Play allows users to store up to 20,000 songs for free, buy millions of new tracks, download more than 450,000 Android apps and games, browse what Google claims is the world’s largest selection of eBooks and rent thousands of movies, including new releases and HD titles.

Interestingly, it looks like the Google brand will start taking precedence over Android in terms of content. “On your Android phone or tablet, we’ll be upgrading the Android Market app to the Google Play Store app over the coming days. Your videos, books and music apps will also be upgraded to Google Play Movies, Google Play Books and Google Play Music apps,” said Rosenberg. “The music, movies, books and apps you’ve purchased will continue to be available to you through Google Play—simply log in with your Google account like always.”

US users will be able to store music, movies, books and Android apps in Google Play. In Canada and the UK, Google is offering movies, books and Android apps, in Australia – books and apps; and in Japan, movies and apps.

“Everywhere else, Google Play will be the new home for Android apps. Our long-term goal is to roll out as many different types of content as possible to people around the world, and we’ll keep adding new content to keep it fresh,” concluded Rosenberg.

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