Took me Two Years To Stumble into This

Just to prove I am really not as technical savvy or know it all about the web as some of you fools think; today I absently blundered into a nifty piece of Google tech that is, oh, about two years old. A bunch of people will comment, “Oh heck yes, I knew about that like 8 years ago…” Good.

I was looking for some info about a New Orleans benefit CD I bought at last week’s NMC conference. Searching in Google, I fell into Google Music search… oh this was new as of December 2005.

So if you type in any Google search hole the name of a band, singer, album (help me out, are they still called “albums”? “CDs” do they even exist in these days of single song sales???), and your search results likely will include an album cover and links to more info.

So if I search on, oh, say the name of a long time favorite band from my teen rock years in Baltimore, I get a list of all of their albums, plus some more band info on the left- artist web sites, news, images, and a place to discuss the artist. That is far from rocket science, as those are just linked searches to normal G search, Google News, Google image search, and Google Groups.

When I go into one of my favorite live albums from this yet to be named band (heck, click it yerself), I then get s list of all songs in the album, each linked to more info, and of course, links to purchase the album or single song form online music providers….. er sellers, iTunes, AOL, Rhapsody, etc.

Drilling down into say, one of the funky songs, you get what is pretty much song metadata (artist, album, title, author duration), links to sites with the songs lyrics, and yes! Again, more links to buy the music!

The nifty thing I did like is the link to All Versions of This Song, now a bit more interesting. Is it by songs with that exact title? No, that would be a cheap way to do it. It looks like this search also matches the “author” of the original. So this leads me to a 1970s artist who was heavily influenced by the band not mentioned above.. and ironically, to sort of make a full circle, this artists first album, the one that featured a cover of the song of the band not mentioned, recorded the album on New Orleans.

The Google Music search i certainly no huge ground breaking innovation, but is a bit of a subtle example how the search logic and some simple data relationships can create interesting connections. There is no place on Google Music search to actually hear the song, or a sample of it… if you are more cynical, you can see it all as a thinly veiled effort to put link in front people that lead to online pay music stores, where Google is likely getting a cut of everybody’s slide of pie.

If this kind of stuff has any value, please support me monthly on Patreon or a one time PayPal kibble toss
Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Cool. And before you get the wrong impression and think I am into music — nope not me — like the latest pop. But my hubby loves music and is a bit of a technophobe. Rather embarrassing really – should also note that my 9 year old also is reluctant to use the computer…apparently he does not want to grow up to be a nerd like his mum (where have I gone wrong).

    Any way this morning I followed your post to work out how music search works so I can show my hubby a tool that he will like on the computer (getting sick of him watching YouTube). He walked in to wish me good morning and I quickly showed him. Cool he says I shall have a go later. One more tool to drag him into my world now to work on master 9! Should note my hubby has now read The World is Flat and is reading Wikinomics at the moment.

  2. Hey, that’s really cool — I’ll have to show it to Skip. (We saw your ‘not mentioned’ band this year in Annapolis and they were just as awesome as I remembered!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *