The rumours were true. Earlier today, Google unveiled its new onebox for music related searches. As expected, Google will be providing song previews supplied by Lala.com and iLike.com. Additionally, you will be able to listen to related music on Imeem, Rhapsody or Pandora. Streams provided by Lala will play the full song once and then switch to a 30 second preview. Streams provided by other providers will include 30 second previews, as well as full songs. This feature will be made available to users in United States over the next few days.
The objective of the new onebox for music related queries is threefold:
- Reduce the effort it takes to find music by your favorite artists.
- Enable you to discover new music through partners like Imeem and Pandora.
- Allow you to identify that catchy tune you may have heard in a cafeteria. The new music search will return relevant music streams even if you use a line or two of lyrics.
Google is not the first major search engine to provide free streams within the search results page. Yahoo has been doing this since last year. Feeling left behind, they took this opportunity to remind us about their own music search abilities in a blog post. What remains to be seen now, is how Microsoft Bing will react.