Monday, August 22, 2011

Google Magnifier Launched, a Blog for Google Music

Google's new Magnifier "music discovery" blog not only serves up free music, but connects Music Beta to Google+ indirectly.

Wednesday Google launched Magnifier, a "cousin" to the company's Music Beta service which went live back in May. Unlike the latter which serves as cloud storage, Magnifier is a blog edited by Tim Quirk – Rhapsody's former senior vice president and the current head of global content programming for Google Android – and focuses on music discovery, offering video of live performances, free music downloads and artist interviews.
"Magnifier is basically Music Beta's cousin who lives in England, except that we don't actually live in England, and you don't have to wait weeks for new packages to arrive via air mail," Quirk said in a blog. "Because we’ll bring you new free music each and every day. Sometimes it will be songs you haven't heard of by artists you have. Sometimes it will be new artists we think deserve more attention. And sometimes there will be video interviews and live performances."

Magnifier will feature a different artist each week. To kick things off, My Morning Jacket is the first featured artist offering two free tracks including an exclusive live performance of "The Day is Coming." In addition to the featured artist, Google will also offer a new music track every day which can be dumped right into a Music Beta account without having to download and re-upload the file. And as always, all tracks can be streamed to Android devices and Google TV for free.
Unsurprisingly, Magnifier also ties into Google's social website, Google+, by way of the +1 button. Users can't directly share music tracks on Google+, but by pressing the +1 button on a blog hosting free tracks, the two sites are indirectly connected to the music. What's missing is a sharing feature within Music Beta itself which would essentially allow users to store the tracks in their locker and then share samples on Google+.
Still, despite all the free music, Google's Music Beta is simply an online locker. What it lacks is the ability to purchase, store and stream music all in one place. The blog adds a nice "discovery" touch, but Amazon and Apple will always have the upper hand. Still, Google is suddenly offering loads of new music... perhaps we'll soon see an actual online store?

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