Google Music: Coming Soon, Kinda-Sorta-Maybe

Hot on the heels of the launch of , new signs of Google's music-streaming service are showing up around the Web.

A website called -- which has been offline since Tuesday morning -- received a copy of an apparent development version of a new Android Market interface for phones. Within the updated Market, the site found a new music player app for Android. It's not complete, by any means, but the app runs relatively smoothly on , the latest smartphone version of Google's mobile OS.

Big deal, right? It sounds underwhelming, I know. But what's noteworthy about the discovery is the presence of cloud-based streaming features within the music player application.

When you dig into the settings of the new Android music app, you find a handful of options that seem to be tied to the long-discussed . One allows you to select a Google account to connect to the application; another lets you temporarily cache streaming music files to help improve performance. All told, the app is actually quite similar to another Android music player leak , though the software seems to have evolved into a more stable and polished form since that last appearance.

So let's put this all into context: We first (officially) heard about Google's plans for a cloud-based music streaming service last spring, when Google gave us a sneak peek at the aptly named Google Music during its 2010 I/O developers' conference. Since then, we've heard rumors upon rumors of a pending launch -- including -- but no real signs of anything beyond the standard blogosphere-based hearsay.