Google launching free, legal, music downloads… in China

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google-music.jpgInternet giant Google today launched a service that provides completely free, legal downloads of songs from all four major labels. The caveat? It’s only available in China. Damn.

There will be over 350,000 tracks available at launch, from both Chinese and Western markets. Users will be able to search by artist and song name, but also by the level of ‘beat’ in the song, and its ‘instrumentality’, whatever that is.

Google’s making the move due to massive levels of piracy in the world’s most populous country. The search engine lags behind its competitor Baidu in the country, mainly thanks to Baidu’s MP3 search functions. This launch should help Google compete in a market where 99% of music consumed is illegal.

Google’s free music service (via Reuters)

Duncan Geere