File under better late than never: Google Australia has finally begun selling music through the Play Store. As well as letting you buy songs directly from your Android device or your PC, that also means you can upload songs from your own music collection and play them via any device where you have signed into your Google account.
Google's pricing is effectively the same as iTunes in Australia — newer tracks are $2.19, older tracks are $1.69, and some on-special tracks are $0.99. Independent artists who sign up to sell through the service can set their own price.
Google has offered music in the US since November 2011, so we've had to wait almost 18 months for this to happen — but to put that in perspective, the gap between iTunes selling music in the US and Australia was closer to 30 months. Google's pricing does give some weight to Apple's argument that labels have more influence on music pricing than it does, though the matching prices might also be a case of "hey, we can make some money here".
Music to your ears! Australia gets Google Play Music [Google Australia Blog]