Search giant Google has entered the online music market with a new service for finding and buying music online.
OneBox is an alliance with music sites Lala and MySpace-owned iLike.
The US-only service allows people to search using song titles, artists or using snippets of lyrics and will also stream sought-after tracks.
Mark Mulligan, an analyst at research firm Forrester, said the service may offer a compelling alternative to illegal file-sharing.
“Apple can do little about iPod owners downloading from BitTorrent,” he said in a blog post. “But Google on the other hand can.”
BitTorrent software is widely used to trade music and movies.
“Just imagine if when a consumer searches for a song, alongside all of those Torrent results is a heavily integrated Google music offering.”
When users search using OneBox a pop-up widget powered by iLike or Lala offers to play the entire song.
A MySpace box allows people to buy MP3s of the tracks and also highlights music videos and other information, such as upcoming concerts by the artists.
According to Google, the words “music” and “lyrics” are among the top 10 search terms of all time.
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