INTERNET GIANT Google is preparing a home entertainment system that will stream music to multiple rooms.
Google has been working on multi-room music streaming for several years, according to the Wall Street Journal's sources. It reports that Google will market the system itself and expects to launch it later this year.
Should Google get into the music streaming game that could put it directly up against Apple, with its Airplay software. Apple has also been heavily rumoured to be readying a 42-inch Apple TV to carry its assault into consumers' living rooms.
Google's music streaming system is expected to tie in with the firm's music service and could well be the precursor to the firm putting its name on televisions.
Interestingly Sonos, a company that has been in the multi-room streaming business for many years, tried to play down the size of the market, with the Sonos co-founder Tom Cullen telling the WSJ, "I'd be stunned if they actually thought it was worth it, because it's peanuts for them."
What Cullen probably doesn't realise is that Google won't follow Sonos and overcharge for what is at best mediocre hardware and software. Google has seen how successful its Android operating system has become in the hands of smartphone developers, so it seems likely that Google will slap a low starting price on its system and reap revenue from music sales.
Success for Google isn't guaranteed. The firm's efforts to co-design and sell a product ended badly with the Nexus One, which the firm sold directly to punters for a few months before giving up on the idea. This time, however, it might enlist retailers rather than going it alone. µ
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