The new music search capabilities that Google introduced today will make it easier to quickly find a song you can’t remember the name of, or sample some tracks from an artist you’re interested in. But it’s not so much a new service as a more efficient combination of a bunch of services already scattered around the web.
Probably the coolest new feature is that in the future, when you search for an artist or song, Google will present tracks along with other search results. Click on the track link and you’ll be able to hear the song in its entirety once, through an arrangement with Lala.com. (The New York Times says MySpace Music will be another track provider, but they may not offer the same “listen once” service.)
The other two features are that now Google will be smarter about identifying songs based on snippets of lyrics you enter, thanks to a partnership with Gracenote; and the search engine will also provide direct links to relevant Pandora, Imeem, and Rhapsody pages.
The reason Google is doing all of this: higher quality search results mean more traffic, and that means more ad sales. In other words, you’ll still buy your songs through Lala or one of the other partners, which isn’t a terrible deal considering Lala has probably the cheapest option around right now for ï¿½ la carte song and album purchases. (The subscription-based eMusic is cheaper if you buy your music in bulk.)
“Google Lifts the Curtains on Its New Music Service” [New York Times]