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Microsoft adds music to Bing search results


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Microsoft on Tuesday introduced the latest update to its plucky come-from-behind search engine, Bing, offering specialized results for music, TV, movies, and games.

On the music front, Bing now offers playable search results. The feature is similar to what Google introduced last October, but Google is dependent on partnerships, which has created some problems. Lala was acquired by Apple, which discontinued the service on May 31, and iLike (owned by MySpace) only lets you play the song once before relegating you to a 30-second sample on subsequent visits.


Bing search results for "Roger Waters" include a short bio, playable song samples with lyrics for one song, a list of albums, and links to share the results via various social networks.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has its own music licensing deals for its Zune Marketplace service, and some of these deals have now been extended to Bing, giving you unlimited full-length playbacks of more than 5 million songs. If you like the song, you can then purchase the MP3 from the Zune Marketplace over the Web--a first for Microsoft. (Previously, you had to launch the Zune application.) You can also purchase it from iTunes or Amazon. Google only lets you buy from its partner iLike.

Bing's music search results beat Google in some other ways as well: artist results contain embedded biographies, a list of albums (click through and you get full song listings for each album, with embedded playback for songs that Microsoft has licensed), and--where available--lyrics licensed from LyricFind. The lyrics are displayed on a Bing subpage, meaning that you'll never have to click through to one of those random third-party lyrics sites, which are usually infested with annoying pop-up ads and other nasties.

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