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Google to Launch Music Service to Compete Against iTunes? [Updated]

In a brief note, TechCrunch reports that it has heard from multiple sources that Google is preparing to launch a music service that would appear to compete against Apple's iTunes Store.

Google will soon launch a music service, we've heard from multiple sources, and the company has spent the last several weeks securing content for the launch of the service from the major music labels. One source has referred to the new service as Google Audio.

It is unclear at this time whether the service would offer music downloads or streaming, or perhaps both. TechCrunch will offer more details as they become available.

Update: TechCrunch now reports that it has received an invitation to a media event launching the service scheduled for October 28th. The invitation suggests that Google is partnering with music services Lala and iLike on the project.

MediaMemo provides additional information, noting that the service will reportedly be called "One Box" and will be a search service offering users content previews and directing them to sites where music can be purchased, not a full-fledged iTunes Store competitor.

Sources describe the service, which will be called "One Box" as a refined set of answers for music queries. The idea: Punch in, say, "Madonna", and you'll be presented with one or more songs, which may be partial clips or full-length versions, then guided to other sites where you can purchase the music.