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Google, Facebook Plan to Beef Up Music Features

October 22, 2009 10:07 AM ET

Both Google and Facebook are reportedly planning to beef up their music features by allowing users to find and stream music more easily on their services, the New York Times reports. According to sources who have been invited to a Google event next week at Los Angeles' Capitol Building, the search engine giant is expected to reveal "a more efficient way" of finding, streaming and learning about music, which will reportedly involve Google linking up with music sites like Lala, iLike and Imeem.

Google has not aligned itself with any of the major labels as of yet, the NYT reports, but will respond to searches for songs by presenting a 30-second stream — or in some cases, a full track — powered by its partners. Essentially, it's a shortcut for users who may go directly to YouTube or the iTunes music store to be able to search and listen to music without paying for it.

Facebook is developing the option for users to send songs as a gift to friends, the NYT writes. As it stands now, Facebook users can send virtual birthday cakes and dogs and other tiny graphics for a small fee to other Facebookers. However, after a deal with Lala, for 10 cents, users will be able to send a song stream from the music service to other friends on Facebook. For a dollar, the song can be downloaded and imported into iTunes or other music players.

Dream iPhone applications: imagining music's future on phones.

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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