Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Google Music Search (aka OneBox)

Google Music
Google updated the music search OneBox, which used to include song titles, album names and some other information licensed from AllMusic. Google Music Search (aka Onebox) is a music search feature that appears inside Google search that will give you not a little 30-second clip, but a full song play.

Google Music Search 2.0 (aka OneBox)

Search for an artist, an album name or even some lyrics and Google returns a list of songs that can be played with one click. Full music previews are provided by iLike and Lala, but Google also links to other music sites: Pandora, Rhapsody and imeem. When you click on a music result, Google opens a player in a pop-up window, which isn't very user-friendly.

"With Lala, you can hear one full length preview per song. Each subsequent play will be a 0:30 clip," explains Lala. This limitation is very easy to bypass: just clear the cookies for lala.com.

Basically, as you can see in the picture above, you will see play buttons alongside different songs when you get search results. If you press play, a popup from MySpace (iLike) or Lala appears, letting you play the full song and giving you buttons to buy it or get more info. You will also have the chance to check out the band on other services/sites as I've mentioned above.

As you might imagine, there's no mention of iTunes in all of this. This (the lack of iTunes-mention), however, does make me wonder about Apple and whether or not they plan to use the server farm they're building to make their own search engine --Ultimately, this would mean that Google will not be the default search engine for their Safari browser. It can only get more interesting.

Back to what I was saying ...

In essence, Google isn't playing the music at all. It's up to MySpace and Lala to manage the rights of the full-song playback business, and to serve up the content. For more info, check out the YouTube video (below) or Google blog.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV24RBmy-2I

Around the same time this came out a month or so ago (October 2009), and not wanting to feel left out, Yahoo! reminds users that it launched a similar feature last year. "Since launching a partnership with Rhapsody in September 2008 and launching the FoxyPlayer last year, music has been an integral part of the Yahoo! Search experience as well. We have found that nearly 6 percent of all Yahoo! searches are music-related."

Here's the thing ...
(you'll shortly get an idea why I put this waaay at the bottom of this post)

I've been searching music on Google for a few years. And I've been able to "listen" to the results without a hitch. If you've followed this blog at all, it should come as no surprise that I use a bookmarklet. I don't want to give it all away, to be honest, but I'm more than happy to share it for a limited number of people. Let me know in the comments and I'll send you the bookmarklet.

So what does this bookmarklet do? It searches Google (and no other) for music based on a string you provide it (usually the name of the artist or the song ... not the lyrics). I simply manipulate the Google page (the search page and the results page) into something that caters to music. The results are mp3 & ogg files that I can "listen" to right there and then. And no, there are no third-party applications, other links (hidden or otherwise), etc. It's simply a Google search with some serious URL manipulation to customize the search and the results. Yes, it's that simple.

Heck, with FoxyTunes, a free browser plug-in I have on Firefox, it automatically adds the play button next to the results of the bookmarklet. Can I find all the music I want with this bookmarklet? Honestly, no. It's limited by what ... ummm ... I've said too much. Just know that you'll find more than 90% of what you're seeking. And again, if I send you the bookmarklet, you'll have its code to see exactly what it does. You'll even be able to modify it to do other things (hint!).  ▣

Click here to see Tuesday-only posts.

No comments: