"When I was in junior high school," Tim Quirk, head of music programming, begins, "I had a friend whose older cousin lived in England, and that cousin would always send my friend great new records we usually knew nothing about, except that if the cousin liked them there was a very good chance we would, too. That's how we first heard the Clash's debut LP, Closer by Joy Division, and countless other albums I still treasure today."
So that's what Magnifier does, sans cousin in England! The first surprise here is that Google didn't already have its own music blog; the second being they would think the Internet was in need of another one, but, hey, judge for yourself. Today sees an exclusive interview and live track from Kentucky juggernauts My Morning Jacket, so I suppose that's nice, but you'll need to sign up for a Music Beta account in order to stream any of the music posted on the site (read some tips on how to do that here, all for free), giving Google and their Music Beta an edge on similar streaming services like Apple's iCloud or Amazon's Cloud Player. What a minute — you don't suppose that might've been Google's incentive for launching the blog, do you?!
To his credit, though, Quirk has proved himself as someone who knows his stuff, despite coming across a little dopey in his intro. He came to Google from Rhapsody, where he was VP of music programming, and currently doubles as head of global content programming for Google Android, but, still, it feels a little funny that they're pushing the "discovery of new music" angle when yesterday they posted The Walkmen's "Woe Is Me" from their 2010 album Lisbon, which in Internet-years is approaching mid-40s. Welcome to the blogosphere, Google. It's rough out here.