The “for some reason” part comes from the fact that Google doesn’t have all four of the major labels locked up on this endeavor just yet. Word is that EMI is solidly on board, although it’s the smallest, and Universal is either signed or will be soon (by Wednesday? Unclear). But Sony and Warner will apparently not be part of the deal. All Things D speculates that Google is going off half-cocked as a means of pressuring the remaining labels to sign on. I’m dubious about that since it sure didn’t work with the premature launch of Google TV.
Word is that iTunes, which has had deals in place for many years, is about to finally launch its Match program, providing high quality versions of your crappy old MP3s for an annual fee. It was supposed to launch last month but didn’t.