Google Cleans Up Its Music, Removes The F-Bomb
December 27, 2012

Google Cleans Up Its Music, Removes The F-Bomb

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

There are some moments in life where a well-placed swear in a song can really strike just the right chord. Take the “F-Word” in Radiohead´s “Creep” or the lesser-known but equally important swear in Pedro the Lion´s “Foregone Conclusions.”

Even the well timed profanity in Death Cab for Cutie´s “Tiny Vessels” lands the artist´s point square on the chin in the best way. Though these ℠swears and profanities´ may be a necessary note to the overall flavor of the song, it´s likely you wouldn´t want your children or God-fearing Baptist grandparents to hear them screaming from your speakers.

If several news sources are correct, Google Music could be your savior or the cause of your undoing“¦there´s no way of knowing.

Some Google Music users are noticing that the service has taken upon itself the duty to replace any “dirty” songs with “cleaner” versions. While replacing the explicit songs with clean versions may be appreciated and could certainly protect those who hadn´t realized they had some of these songs lying around in their libraries, not all that glimmers is gold.

It appears as if Google isn´t playing nanny and taking it upon itself to rid the world of all the bad words. Other users have noticed their clean versions have been replaced with the explicit copy, completely undoing any measures you´ve taken to protect those with innocent ears around you.

The problem, it seems, occurs during Google´s new Scan and Match process.

Last week, Google finally announced the new feature, bringing their service up to the same level as Amazon´s and Apple´s cloud-based music services. Previously, any Google Music subscriber would have to upload their entire music collection to the cloud in order to use the service. For those casual listeners with libraries of less than 1,000 songs, this would have been a simple enough process. However, for those with expansive libraries, (likely the same kind of people who would frequently use this service) this meant the arduous process of starting the transfer to the cloud and waiting for many hours. Now, Google uses a similar technique to Apple´s iTunes Match service, scanning the user´s library and matching the songs with existing copies in the cloud.

It´s likely some of the metadata, specifically the explicit tags, are getting bungled once they enter the cloud, causing some users to hear F-Bombs whether they want to or not.

Fortunately for these users, there appears to be a fix. According to Wired, Google has said users can change the version of the song in their library from within the Google Music Player. To change this version, simply right click the offending (or not) track and select “Fix Incorrect Match.”

Doing this will upload the actual song rather than using Google´s new match service.

While these cloud music services are incredibly convenient for those who want to access their libraries on the go, they operate with a few understandable caveats. Google, for instance, doesn´t allow libraries larger than 20,000 songs into the cloud. Once there, Google Music serves the songs up in 320 kbps fashion, regardless of the quality of the file which was scanned. Apple´s iTunes Match allows larger libraries– up to 25,000 songs– but delivers them at a lower bit rate of 256 kbps.

While it´s likely the average listener will be perfectly happy listening to songs at this level of audio quality, audiophiles needn´t even apply, lest they have their eardrums bruised and scarred from hearing music at a perfectly acceptable bit rate. After all, to the average audiophile, hearing songs at this level is just as offensive as hearing some of the more extreme F-bombs.