Google launching free, legal, music downloads… in China


Internet 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)

Amazon quietly launches casual game downloads


Suddenly, unannounced, Amazon has enabled a casual games download service in the States. It’s got more than 600 available, each costs less than $10, and there’s a try-before-you-buy service available to, where you can play a game for 30 minutes before you buy it.

No sign of anything more hardcore, this is so far just limited to Bejewelled and the like, but if this is a sign of things to come then it could be the shot in the arm that PC gaming needs. Especially if recent figures suggesting that half of PC game purchases are digital is true.

Amazon Games Downloads (via Kotaku)

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