Next generation of Android media player revealed

December 28, 2010: 12:42 PM ET

Developers have gotten their hands on an alpha version of what appears to be Android's upcoming media player.

When it comes to media management and playback, Google's (GOOG) Android lags behind Apple's (AAPL) iTunes ecosystem. For those who like to have their music and video managed by an application, Google simply doesn't have a good answer to iTunes.

I currently use DoubleTwist on Android, which is a third party app that allows me to manage my music with iTunes on my computer.  It also has a slick interface and allows for over-the-air sync, which should be in both Apple and Google's products.

Back in May at Google I/O, VP Vic Gundotra demoed what appeared to be a pretty impressive cloud-based music system based on some software they bought called Simplify Media.  Here's the demo below:

Here we are, seven months later and Google's media software hasn't changed. Certainly nothing like what was demonstrated has even been mentioned since Google I/O.

Yesterday, however, some Android software that looks like the app demonstrated leaked.  According to people who've used it, it works well for organizing music but the streaming side doesn't work well at all.

So, is this just the leak of the old software or does this mean that Google is readying an update to the Android media player?

Google has been working on a Google Music ecosystem for months, even securing the rights to stream music from lockers online. Previous speculation put a Google Music launch at the end of this year, which is rapidly approaching and likely to pass before an announcement is made.

Meanwhile, Apple is rumored to be working on a similar service which will be served out of its new North Carolina data center.

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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