google play music
Currently Browser Based: Google Play Music

Are Google readying a desktop rival to Apple’s iTunes?

If the search giant were to turn Google Play Music, their cloud-based music service, into a new-fangled ‘Chrome App’ then iTunes would finally have a worthy competitor on the desktop.

Think about it: a music application that can run anywhere Chrome can; is able to play, edit and access local files, also stream back music from the cloud and offer music purchases with a built-in music store.

Sounds like some designed to slot right in between iTunes and Spotify, right?

Well, we’ve heard that it’s happening: a ‘packaged app’ version of Google Play Music is being trialled by Chrome/Google developers.

Does this internal developer screenshot show a packaged Play Music app?
Does this internal developer screenshot show a packaged Play Music app?

Being a ‘packaged app’ means the service would be able to do things that its current web-based app can’t, such as accessing music stored locally using Chrome’s Media Gallery API.

Perhaps as an indication of this rumour Google developers recently updated the Media Gallery API to allow packaged apps access (where available and permission given) a user’s iTunes library:

“A user’s iTunes music library will be available as a default media gallery, allowing apps to import and play locally stored music.”

The case for a Play Music ‘Chrome App’ is sound, and provide Chromebook users with a viable solution for playing and managing their offline MP3 collections (although apps like Remo are filling that void at present).

With no firm confirmation at present it’s best to take this rumour with a pinch of salt. But if we hear anything more we’ll let you know.

Would you use a Google Play Music ‘Chrome app’?

Chrome Apps Rumours google play music itunes