Google rolled out its new music search feature on Wednesday. Being as on top of things as I usually am, I got around to trying it out today.
The bad news: Google's integration of music into its search results isn't going to happen overnight. I looked for "I Can See Clearly Now" (Johnny Nash), "On Reflection" (Gentle Giant), "I'm So Tired" (Beatles), and "Her Diamonds" (Rob Thomas), and all I got for top results were a bunch of YouTube videos. To get to music Google has already ... indexed? web-crawled? databased? I'm not sure how this works ... I had to go to their landing page, where they helpfully provided examples of stuff you could actually find.
The good news: When it works, it's neat. A search for Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" brings up a handy play button labelled "Play song from Lala.com." Click the button and it lets you play the whole song.
This part is key. The whole song. Not the 30 seconds that iTunes and some others dole out. Depending on which service comes up, you may only get the entire song once, an excerpt thereafter, but that seems fair enough. (It also makes me wonder why iTunes doesn't do this. If Lala.com and the other iTunes competitors working with Google can negotiate better deals with the copyright holders, why can't a powerful player like Apple?)
I'm looking forward to the day I can punch any song title into Google and then listen to the song. And yet? A little voice inside my head asks me why I haven't been doing nearly the same thing already. Lala.com has been around since 2007. Why did I, a music lover, not bother to find out that there are services that allow you listen to the whole song? Why, now that I know about this, do I suspect I'll still be going through Google to sample songs?
Because I'm busy. Because I'm lazy. And Google made it just that tiny bit easier.