Google intros streaming Android Market movies and Music Beta

Want to rent movies on your tablet and keep your existing tunes in Google’s cloud? You’re up

Remember how we said Google Music was on its way? Would we lie to you? Nope. Music Beta by Google has just been announced at the company’s I/O event in San Francisco and it looks good. As expected, it’s a cloud-based music player with a web interface. There are playlists, ratings – all the things you’ve come to expect on… what’s that old software called? Ah, yes – iTunes. There’s even a Genius-esque smart playlist function called Instant Mix.

In other Android news, the app Market is branching out, selling streaming movies for US$2 a pop on a 30-day rental, with return due within 24 hours of hitting play for the first time. Google’s also talking up “pinning” – a process used to buffer movies in-device for streaming when Wi-Fi isn’t available.

Movie rentals are being let loose straight away in the States, and the Music Beta is being selectively released (again, only in the States). The Music Beta is free “while in beta” – will they really want us to pay for it when it goes mainstream?

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