Yahoo auditions price comparisons for music downloads

Web leviathan Yahoo has launched an audio search service that's already indexed more than 50 million files. The search covers streams, Podcasts and even does price comparisons between music download stores

The search war keeps intensifying, and it looks like 2005's battleground is going to be multimedia.

Following Google's Video Search beta earlier this year, Yahoo yesterday took the wraps off its new audio search service.

The search, which can be found in beta at audio.search.yahoo.com, looks for every variety of audio file, from speech, Podcasts and streams to singles and albums in music download stores.

Typing Jack Johnson (pictured) into the search, for example, brings up his latest In Between album and seven locations for downloading its songs. The music stores are currently all US-only - the Johnson search returned results from iTunes, MSN Music, Rhapsody, MusicMatch, BuyMusic, PassAlong and Yahoo's own Music Unlimited store. Sony's Connect store isn't included.

Although all the stores featured near-identical prices, the advent of Yahoo's song price comparisons - and the copycats that'll follow - should hopefully lead to increased competition and price-cutting between stores in the future.

Try it for yourself at audio.search.yahoo.com

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