Google Music China is almost 3, Did Anyone Notice? Legal FREE Songs for All to Download

Back in 2008, Google announced their free music download service in China in cooperation with, with a bang: The promise of legal & trustworthy FREE downloads was an exciting one.

Almost 3 years into it, most people have forgotten about said service but could this sleeping giant be google’s trojan horse into the mainland? with the latest round of legislations outlawing unlicensed music along with China’s closure of a whole bunch of illegal music download sites, I am surprised that more people are not using this or talking about it.

According to this article from 2009, there’s around 5 million songs a day being downloaded. I’d love to see updated numbers for 2010 or 2011 from Google themselves if anyone knows where i can find them.
See, over the last few months, there have been rumors of google launching a music service and most of the people writing about this seem to forget that the music service has been around for almost 3 years already. How can it be that Google’s least blocked project in the country that’s got the biggest number on web users is ignored? Something is just not right… all the points covered in the article mentioned above are already implemented in Google Music China. you can stream all the songs and download them.

Sure, when they launched, the selection was limited. Now however, most international releases end up there right away. a clean, DRM free, no strings attached download service… did I mention free?

For local music, Google Music has come around leaps and bounds over the past few months which suggests that they’re still actively pushing the service and getting new signups. Back catalogs from artists like Tang Dynasty, Cobra, Xie Tian Xiao, Miserable Faith, Dou Wei, Muma, Sand and more are all there, free for the taking. These are records that are almost impossible to find anywhere else, even if you’re willing to pay for them.

You can also listen to whole records without having to download them, right there, online. If this is not the best value for customers, I’m not sure what is…. Legal legit safe and free music as opposed to illegal potentially infected tracks from baidu and the like. and the artists get a cut somehow…

Sure, as a foreigner, it can be daunting to look at an interface that’s all in Chinese but Google’s UI folks have done a great job to keep things simple. If one wishes, they can also use Chrome’s instant translate feature to navigate it in their language of choice. One issue that used to piss me off is having to download the tracks one by one.. still, it’s only a few clicks and doesn’t take that long. Heck, in some cases, all i want is one or two tracks from a record so it’s even better.

Here is a little reference chart to help you navigate the results:

So folks in China/Beijing, what are you waiting for? get downloading…. Here are some links to get you started:

Sand 沙子乐队 : One of the few Chinese Bluesmen

Muma 木马乐队 :Solid Heavy Rock

Yaksa 夜叉乐队 : One of the Better Metal Bands in China

Cold Blooded Animal 冷血动物 : Xie Tian Xiao’s first and best incarnation. A classic

Black Panther 黑豹乐队: One of my favorite old school hard rock bands

Dou Wei 窦唯: One of the most talented artist to grace China. as avant-garde as it gets.

Xiao He 小河 : Love him or hate him, he is relevant

New Pants 新裤子: Some folks swear by them… i can’t define them

reTROS 重塑雕像的权利 : One of the better bands to come out of China. Extremely original and tight

Just about any of your international top 40 hits is there as well, and that’s not limited to US-centric stuff… you got French, German, Japanese etc….

Thanks google.

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5 Responses

  1. Very good to read somebody showing an overview.You Set an excellent foundation!

  2. Carlo says:

    Man!!! we are using we are using it…

    we just were tying to keep it silent and covered in order to let them keeping offering! 🙂 🙂


  3. click here says:

    One or two of my friends hit the like button for this blog post on facebook so I thought I’d check it out. I just did the same so i hope a lot more people will search for this 🙂

  4. Since google draw back from China, google music is more and more less important than Baidu now. But I still think that google did the right thing.