We got word earlier this week about a new Google Music Search service and now it's official.
Rather than being its own dedicated platform, Google music search (there is no formal name, just a description) is simply new functionality that is integrated into the standard search box. Consequently when you now search for lyrics, track, album or band names smarter results should appear highlighting album covers, audio previews, streaming sites and even legal sites for downloads.
This has all been done through partnerships with iLike (now owned by MySpace), Lala, Pandora, imeem and Rhapsody.
"This feature doesn't just make search better," said a formal blog post from product manager Murali Viswanathan and software engineer Ganesh Ramanarayanan. "It also helps people discover new sources of licensed music online while helping artists to discover new generations of fans and reconnect with longtime listeners. Our users love music, and this tool introduces millions of music seekers in the U.S. to a new generation of licensed online music services, from MySpace and Lala to Pandora, imeem and Rhapsody."
As this last troubling line of the announcement highlights, the downside in this is its current US-only availability and no mention was made of an international roll out. Should it prove successful however that surely has to be the long term plan.
Any US based readers want to let us know how they are getting on with this...? And yes, we're jealous. Still we have Spotify!
Google Blog post