Yahoo Music has teamed with Gracenote to debut a legal, industry-backed music lyrics website.

The new site fills a gaping hole in the digital music market that to date has been filled with unauthorized music lyric sites that have proven at times inaccurate, difficult to use, and plaguing users with spyware.

Yahoo's service relies entirely on Gracenote, which operates an internet-accessible database of meta-data contained on CDs. Since last summer Gracenote has been busy aggregating rights to song lyrics from all the major publishing bodies in North America and creating a complex database and payment scheme.

At launch, the lyrics to about 400,000 songs are available, with more being added on a weekly basis as Gracenote continues to populate the service and acquire additional rights. Yahoo helped Gracenote prioritize both the launch catalog and the tracks being added over time based on its search data of the most popular searches.

The lyrics tool is not a part of the Yahoo Music Unlimited subscription service. Subscribers will not be able to search for songs within the music service by lyrics (like they can by artist, track, etc).

Instead, the lyrics search is on a separate Web page, supported by advertising. Yahoo will share ad revenue with Gracenote, who will then compensate music publishers directly.

Gracenote's deal with Yahoo is not exclusive, and the company expects to power music lyric search products for other services in the near future.

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