According to a source at Business Insider, Google will be launching a music store by the end of the year. While the music store was expected at some point, its launch wasn’t expected until next year at the earliest. The store makes a lot of sense as it will allow the purchase and sale of music presumably directly from search results for a song or artist, and it will also tie in nicely with Google Music Beta.
If you haven’t heard of Google Music Beta before, it’s an invite-only (for now) service that lets you store all your music in “the cloud” and listen to it on any device through apps or the browser. Depending on your preferences, you can have it automatically upload music to the server whenever you add it to your computer. Most formats are supported (including FLAC), and the music is streamed to you in whatever quality it already is, up to 320kbps. You can also save music locally (including on Android phones) for offline playback. For the official breakdown, check out their about page. I do have a few invites available to give out, so if you’re interested leave a comment below.