August 17, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Millions of music fans visit Pitchfork, Stereogum, NahRight, and other trendy blogs to stay abreast of what’s popular and emerging in music. Google has its own endeavor to promote Google Music Beta.
Magnifier is a music blog that features content that promotes recording artists and delivers free songs to Music Beta users at the same time. The just-launched website, available at http://magnifier.blogspot.com, has a spotlight that features video interviews and descriptive text from music journalists.
The most interesting and important aspect of Magnifier is that the blog pumps out free music to readers on a daily basis (as any good music blog should). Visitors to the site can read about an artist and then press the “Add free music” button to instantly push that song to his or her Music Beta account. Seconds after reading about Fitz & the Tantrums, I was already listening to “Don’t’ Gotta Work It Out.” I’m also the owner of Royce Da 5’9′s “Writer’s Block” and “Second Place” courtesy of Magnifier.
Google is obviously using Magnifier as a way to magnify attention to Music Beta. Available only in the U.S. and slowly trickling out through invitations, it’s a personal locker for cloud-stored music collections. However, unlike Rhapsody and Spotify, there are no mass libraries of new music instantly accessible or purchasable for users. Instead, Music Beta lets early adopters upload the music they already own. This is a nice way to discover new music and easily raise collections a few songs at a time. We’ll still need a full store built-in, but this is a start.
Add Magnifier to your bookmarks for daily checking and you’ll get free music, interviews, and the occasional live performance.
(Sidenote: I originally thought there’s some connection with Rhapsody because all of the names listed on the Magnifier articles I’ve read are from critics who also blog for Rhapsody.com, a rival music streaming service. Turns out that Magnifier’s lead editor is Tim Quirk, former VP of Music Programming at Rhapsody and lead singer of the band Too Much Joy. Quirk probably just reached out to familiar names in his rolodex and got some Rhapsody writers to freelance for Google.)