Google launched a music search feature to much fanfare in October 2009. Users could search on a song name and the search results would include a “play” button to hear the song (or at least a sample).Now, it’s gone.
But according to a Google spokesperson, it’s not going to be gone forever.
“The music search feature introduced in 2009 is currently unavailable while we make some updates to the user experience.”
This could mean that Google is very close to rolling out the online music service it’s been working on for the better part of a year now. According to some early reports, one of the features of the service was to let users play any song in its entirety once. That would certainly fit into the music search feature.
The music search feature was a big deal at the time, but a couple of the partners who powered the service have also disappeared — Lala was bought by Apple in 2009 and shut down last year, and Imeem went bankrupt.
Music fans who don’t want to wait for the feature to reappear can visit Bing in the meantime: Microsoft still offers playable audio samples in Bing search results, thanks to the company’s Zune business and its existing deals with content owners.