Google's links to streaming music in search results for artists and songs vanished earlier this week. A rep for the company told Billboard.biz, "The music search feature introduced in 2009 is currently unavailable while we make some updates to the user experience," but did not provide a timeline for when it would be available again.
In October of 2009, Google announced its new music search capabilities with fanfare: When users ran a search on either an artists or a song and the first results shown would be album art and a list of songs, each with a "play" link that would open a separate music player where users could stream any song once in its entirety.
Myspace Music and Lala were providing the music at the time. Lala, of course, was shuttered following Apple's acquisition, and although Myspace Music is active, the old search results are gone: instead of the list of songs, users are directed to an artist's Myspace page, along with Wikepedia and a list of YouTube videos.
The omission was first noticed by TechCrunch this morning, but it remains unclear exactly when the search results changed. That alone is a bit disconcerting, as the feature was supposed to herald a new age of music discovery. If its absence wasn't immediately noticed, clearly the feature never really moved the needle.