Yahoo! has recently launched (well, maybe not SO recently…), some services that are worth noticing. There are many new Yahoo! services coming out, which does keep me busy!
Then there’s been the news of Yahoo! acquiring Right Media for its ad business. It comes on the heels of Google buying a much bigger DoubleClick – but DoubleClick has been notorious for using tracking cookies, and regularly on adware searches. Interestingly, Google made no comment during DC’s buy-out on DC’s questionable practices. Once again, this acquisition shows the power of people on the Web – when Google had started out and needed money, they’d thought of taking ads from DoubleClick for revenue. Instead, they went in for what Larry and Sergey called ‘a patchy life preserver’ in the form of Google AdSense. That very AdSense has now given them the power to buy out DC, and establish a monopoly on the Internet.
Enough about Google for now, let’s have a look at those Yahoo! products I wanted to talk about…
Yahoo! Gallery: This is a one-stop shop for gadgets and bits o’ code that Yahoo! users have created to be used with Yahoo! services and products. Note that this is separate from Yahoo! Downloads, Yahoo! Widgets, or Yahoo! Developer Network — Yahoo! Gallery is more a democratic platform for people to share their code. And there’s bounties too for the programmers – make something really good which prompts a Yahoo! user to sign up for premium services, and there’s gonna be a paycheck for you.
Yahoo! Music Lyrics Search: Music lyrics has been one sore point in the digital music revolution. Of course, just do a search and you’ll be able to enough lyrics site – but they’re all user-generated. The music industry’s stance that song lyrics are copyright, and thus all lyrics sites are illegal is ridiculous. After all, what do they want to do – grab hold of someone by the collar for humming a tune while walking down the street, just because a song is copyright? Fact is though, all these sites ARE illegal, and prone to formatting / spelling, and sometimes, factual errors in lyrics. These are, at the basic level, the output of a bloke with too much time to pause a song every 10 seconds and type out the lyrics.
Yahoo! Music Lyrics tries to change this situation by providing authorized versions of the lyrics from the music labels themselves, legally. THIS, dear readers, is THE definite version of a song lyric, the one from the artists themselves, including the verse breakup, punctuation etc. Believe me, I’m very obsessed with the right lyrics when I want one. Having said that, I’d again like to criticize the record labels, because according to the agreement, Yahoo! can only provide the lyrics as an image file on its pages, which effectively means you can’t copy-paste it into your media manager. The lyrics are provided in association with Gracenote, the creators of the CDDB song database. More on song databases later on my blahg. The music companies should definitely be more liberal and ready to accept the change in the music scene.
For now though, people (including me) will still use the other lyrics sites for the first copy – after all, nobody will want to type out from an image file. However, whenever I take a lyric for my collection nowadays, I make sure to tally it with the one on Yahoo! Music Lyrics to check the authenticity. Right now, only around 400,000 songs on the Yahoo! Music database have lyrics, and the number is growing; but is only a fraction of the 6 million songs that Yahoo! Music has. I sure hope the number grows fast, for the benefit of all music fans.