Yahoo Audio Search Engine Is On The Air
What do you get when you mix Apple iTunes, podcasts, web files, and the world’s largest entertainment portal? Yahoo’s Audio Search Engine. Yahoo is coming out with an audio search engine that will not only index audio files available online (like SingingFish or Yahoo’s Altavista services offer), but will also include songs from Internet music services such as Napster, Rhapsody and iTunes. Yahoo audio search is available for beta testing at audio.search.yahoo.com.
This is a move from Yahoo which makes extreme sense, especially after launching their Yahoo Music search service last spring. Think of the new Yahoo Audio Search as a meta search of sorts, focusing on three major audio search categories : music (the default showcased category), podcasts (ok, some RSS here), and then web based audio files.
The default Music audio search results give pay per download options from Yahoo partners and music stores such as MusicMatch, MSN Music, Napster, and Yahoo Music Unlimited. The music download sites are listed in alphabetical order, which is a bit strange since Yahoo’s Yahoo Music Unlimited is listed last (yet has the lowest cost per download in most instances). However, on the right side of the results where contextual advertising links are usually listed is an album graphic with a link to the Yahoo Music Unlimited listings.
A search for “Kurtis Blow” brings results songs listed in order of most online download locations from online music stores. Then, if one does not wish to pay $.79 to listen to a song, podcasts can be searched as the second option for Yahoo Audio Search results.
Podcast results list the XML feeds of podcasts which include the artist or a mention of the artist in the podcast feed. Results are accompanied by the orange XML boxes where users can click to subscribe or listen to a podcast. There is no charge for using this service.
The third Yahoo Audio Search option is Other Audio which lists files accessible via the Internet. Like the Music download files, these results are in order of online download locations. The “Other Audio” results for Wilco bring bootlegged recordings and song files from all across the web. These audio files are all downloadable for no fee.
Yahoo has successfully mixed audio search, podcast search, and pay-per-download search in a way that only a company like Yahoo can – especially since they enjoy business partnerships with so many different entertainment companies. Yahoo’s YSearchBlog summed up the Yahoo Audio Search offering : The World Is Listening : “Y! Audio Search is the largest index of audio content on the Web today, with over 50 million audio files (consider that the average music service has 1 million files, and the next largest audio engine has 12.5 million). This includes structured data from music service catalogs, but more importantly crawled data from across the Web. Yahoo! Audio Search is, and will continue to be, the most comprehensive and – most importantly – open system for finding audio content of any type on the Web.”