With Google’s Music Onebox, you can enter the name of a song into the search engine and get…

as the top result, information about the musician and be able to stream the song from one of two services, Lala and MySpace Music.

Click on that link and you should get a pop-up window that allows you to listen to the song once, for free—along with a link to buy the song. According to an article in the New York Times, the service could significantly change how people look for music online. The article states that, "Music searches on Google, heretofore, have typically generated links to Wikipedia, random ad-filled lyrics sites and, in some cases, YouTube videos. But it usually took a few hops across the Web to actually sample a song. Not anymore. (It will be interesting to see, in this new environment, whether the music labels are truly comfortable with allowing all these free streams on Google.)"

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The goal, said R.J. Pittman, Google’s director of product management, is to better answer music queries, which routinely account for two of Google’s top ten searches in the United States. “The intention is not to turn the partners on Google into a free streaming music service. This is about providing a richer experience for users looking for a particular song,” he said.

The Times article goes on to say that "Through a relationship with Gracenote, now owned by Sony, Google is making it easier to plug lyrics into the search engine and instantly find and play a song. If you mistype or mishear a lyric, a feature called “Google Suggest” will list similar queries in an effort to steer you to the right song.

Originally posted 2009-10-29 14:38:32.