Yahoo on Thursday rolled out a beta version of its newest search engine, dubbed Yahoo! Audio Search, which will be able to sift through more than 50 million audio files, including music downloads, newscasts, podcasts, speeches and interviews.
The company says that it will be an “open” system, meaning it will crawl any type of audio file, regardless of its format or source. Thus, the major music services like iTunes and Napster would be crawled, as well as the smaller independent labels.
Yahoo says its index is the largest of any current audio search offering due to its work in getting the top music services to allow it to index their song catalogs. However, users may need to cough up some cash to access the files.
For example, when entering a song title, the search engine will give you the location where it can be downloaded, along with the platform it is on, if it’s burnable or copyable, the track and subscription price, and a direct link to download.
“Currently the situation with music services is that no one service will have everything a user may want – no one has every song, podcast, and audio file in the universe,” Audio Search Product Manager Ethan Fassett said.
“So, while we firmly believe in our own products, with search in particular we know it’s important to objectively give users the tools to find what they want, and if that means finding content that exists on someone else’s service, so be it.”
Even if the user finds a music track on a service other than Yahoo’s, the search engine still benefits. The site has worked out deals with the major digital music services to receive a commission from users who download tracks by finding them on Yahoo! Audio Search.
Fassett promised new features to come in future releases of the product, including the indexing of radio streams, working with licensing, and a method for users to create and share playlists.
News source: Betanews