Google whistles a new tune

New feature on search site designed to help people find lyrics, bands and CDs. One thing it's not: a music store.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills
Google on Thursday launched a new service intended to give searchers fast links to song lyrics, musical artists and CD titles on the main search results page.

Google Music will allow a person to type in the name of a band, artist, album or song in the main Google search bar, and results will appear at the top, accompanied by icons of music notes, said Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google.

Items that can be purchased will have links to merchants for online ordering or downloading, she said. Initial merchant partners include Apple Computer's iTunes service, RealNetworks Rhapsody, eMusic and Amazon.com.

"We aren't building out a music store," Mayer said. "We are getting people to the iTunes store" and others.

Results will also include links to supplemental Google Web pages with more information about the music, including names of tracks on a CD and other CDs a band or artist has released. Google also will provide snippets of reviews from sites on the Web and links to those sites.

"This has been one of the longstanding unfilled user needs," Mayer said. "We saw a search need where we weren't providing users with the highest-quality results that we could."