Monday, May 21, 2007

Is Google Universal Search the Ultimate Music Mashup?

There has been a bunch of talk this past week about Google's new Universal Search. Basically, it returns search results from all of their previously disparate search products and integrates them into a single set of results.

While this seems like a natural progression, it got me thinking about the various music search/mashups that I have recently talked about - FoxyTunes Planet, PluggedIn, and others - and how Google is taking their approach but supersetting them with the pure breadth of coverage.

Just think about all of Google's search products (web, image, book, blog, groups, news, finance, local, etc.) and how powerful that could be when built on top of a music/artist search experience. Then fold in their other properties of YouTube, Google Groups, Google Talk (with their scrobbler-esque Music Trends data aggregation), Blogger, Google Maps and their other products. Now feed in their massive audience and reach, and AdSense/AdWords products. Wow. The one piece that they don't surface (that they should) is MP3 search. It never really struck me that they don't surface media files in their results, but it's obvious that they could easily do so if they wanted to. So, I did a little research and found that indeed, it is easy...


Google: -inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:"index of" "Last modified" mp3

Using this string we are using the "index of" and the inurl commands to attempt to isolate directories only. The mp3 tag on the end tells google to look for mp3s in these open directories. You can change this to wma or ogg if you wish.

You can add additional search criteria to focus your search more.

Google: -inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:"index of" mp3 "pearl jam"

This command will find open directories with mp3 files with Pearl Jam. Obviously you can change the band name or file type to better define your search.


It is quickly becomes apparent Google could instantly ten-up the rest of the music-specific search/aggregation sites...if they wanted it to. I have no insight if they do or don't... it seems like they have been very careful around the copyright issues in the past but maybe with the YouTube acquisition they are getting a little less risk-averse?

Earlier in the year I suggested that Google should buy Last.fm. Maybe they are just going to build it instead?

5 comments:

musiclovr.com said...

Great blog jherskowitz, we are avid readers here at musiclovr.com. Very informative and much needed in our industry. We are in the process of a massive redesign but we chose to use delicious instead of google because it gave us better results and more active links. We also just integrated Rhapsody into our service so that when a user searches for an artist, we return the top tracks, with links to listen to them. Of course we are limited to their database, so some of the more obscure artists may not present results. Thanks again for the link love to our site. Peace

J said...

Thanks. Let me know when the redesign is done (or close to done). I would love to take a look.

Anonymous said...

You can try this simple file and unprotected directory search engine (not only mp3), it is based on google co-op:
http://searchable.awardspace.com/

OneLag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OneLag said...

There is a media search engine, also based on Google Co-op: http://mediasearch.cjb.net