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Google 'music service' imminent, says rumor mill

Chocolate Factory linked to labels

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Multiple sources are reporting that Google is on the verge of launching some sort of "music service."

The rumors began with a TechCrunch story Tuesday night that claimed Google had spent "the last several weeks securing content" from the major record labels in the run-up to this alleged launch. But other sources say this content-acquisition bit is wide of the mark.

Both Wired.com and CNET News paint the service as more of a vertical search engine, offering links where users can purchase songs from music sites such as Lala and iLike, which was recently acquired by MySpace

TechCrunch refers to the service as "Google Music," but others are using the "One Box" moniker, which would indicate that Google is merely looking to provide a kind of enhanced search result when users type music-related keywords into its search engine. CNET says the service will offer song previews, artist bios, graphics, and video. Wired.com indicates the service will offer links that stream tunes straight from the likes of Lala and iLike.

Google already offers One Box search results for videos, weather, and other vertical searches. Wired.com says the company also plans to launch several other search verticals, including - perhaps - a traveling booking service.

Word is that the major record labels are at least involved in Google's new service, and it will apparently launch next week. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google has already teamed with the world's four largest music labels to launch an ad-based MP3 download service, but TechCrunch says this is unrelated to the new offering. ®

Update

Google tells us: "We don't comment on market rumor or speculation."

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