Starting today, when you search for music, you may see songs that are available for you to play in the snippets of certain search results. Up until now, it’s been easy to find information about musical artists, such as their biographies, pictures from the latest awards ceremony, or recent related news items. However, it’s been comparatively harder to find audio recordings of an artist’s songs. When you’re looking at a results page, it’s not obvious which pages will have songs or samples of music that you can listen to.

We've previously introduced rich snippets for reviews, video, and events to help people determine more quickly if a particular webpage has the information they're interested in. Today we’re introducing rich snippets for music. Now when you search for an artist or album, certain sites that have implemented the new rich snippets markup for music will show up to four songs in their snippet on the results page.

The snippet will display the name of the song, whether it’s audio or video, the duration of the clip, and the album it’s from. Even better, the song title itself will act as a link to the site’s specific page for that song, so that if you know you just want to hear one particular thing, music rich snippets can get you straight there.

Content providers looking to have their sites display music rich snippets can take a look at our blog post on the Google Webmaster Central blog explaining how to get started. The rich snippets testing tool will allow you to test your markup and see how it would appear on Google.

We hope that this will be the first step towards making audio content easier for you to find and easier for sites to surface. You can currently see audio clips on the results page from several partners who have used the rich snippets markup for music, including MySpace, Rhapsody and ReverbNation. For instance, if you search for [gipsy kings] or [kelly clarkson], you’ll see some of the songs they have available to play right there on the results page. We’ll continue to work with more content providers to make sure you can always find the music you’re looking for.