The big music news in China last week was the launch of Google Music – a free service allowing users in the mainland to download or stream more than a million licensed songs. Yes, you heard that right – FREE.
Finding FREE MP3s to stream and download isn’t exactly news, right? The difference here is that Google have the authorisation from 140 label partners including the big 4 major labels – Warner Music Group, Universal Music, EMI and Sony Music Entertainment. Google’s revenue model is to sell advertising around the service and split the profits amongst the labels. Presumably, a portion of that amount sees the artists. We hope.
While it’s seemingly a blow to the potential introduction of paid services like iTunes or Amazon in China the move is said to be less about the music and more of a strategic play against search rival Baidu. Google currently trails Baidu as the search engine of choice in China.
The catch? It’s only available to users on a mainland China IP address. For nerds or technically savvy folks this is probably a small hurdle to circumvent.
To get started with Google Music you’ll need to get familiar with the interface. The site is in Chinese but its fairly easy to see what’s going on. George Godula from Web2Asia has put together a comprehensive overview of what you’ll need to know to get started:
Embed and share your playlists
Now that you’ve got the basics out of the way there’s a neat trick to allow you to embed and share your playlists to put on a blog, forum, or website. It’s a handy way for others to listen and download (legally!) songs they might like.
1. Find the code
Once you’ve got a handle on Google Music and created a playlist of songs its simply a matter of finding the < embed > tag’s content in the page source. To do this right click on the playlist in your favourite browser and “view source”. Scroll through the code until you find the < embed > tag and copy the whole line as shown below.
2. Paste the embed tag
Next you’ll need to paste the embed tag on your blog, website, or favourite forum. The code will be rather long but don’t worry. Paste it in and hit preview. If the player is shown with your music then you’ve done it. If the player doesn’t fit quite right you may need to follow step 3.
3. Resize the player
The player is rather big and might take some tweaking to fit properly on your website. They key is to change a few paramaters at the end of the < embed > tag code. At the very end of this tag, past all the gobblygook code is the following bit of code you can change:
Simply change “noscale” to “scale”, then change the height and width of the player in % or pixels. For the example below I’ve chosen a pixel height of 450 and a width of 550. Change around with those settings until the player looks right on your site.
God, Bon Scott said “Let there be Rock!”
Update: I have a feeling the content in the player might expire after a week or two.