The Americans, rightly or wrongly have a bit of a reputation for being a puritanical lot - no swearing on network TV and nothing more than a hint of side boob. But the discovery that Google Play music is switching out your explicit music for censored stuff is a bit much for us to bear.
Reports online today suggest that for "some" users, if you upload a track with swearing, and it's the match service that does the upload, then you'll get the censored, clean version. We tested the service with our copy of Eminem's Guilty Conscience. It did, indeed, return the clean version when we played the track through the web interface.
This seems especially stupid, as the track we uploaded was explicit, which means we'd made the decision to buy music with swearing in the first place. Presumably, we wouldn't have done this if we'd been offended by the torrent of filthy words for which Eminem is famous.
Google's Match service - which identifies the song you're uploading, and matches it with tracks already stored in Google's cloud-based service - launched first in Europe in early November. The US got the service this month.
If we were going to cut Google a break here - we're not - then we could suggest that it's probably better it does this than risk having the explicit track turn up in some poor kiddie's library by mistake. But the truth is, no one cares about swearing in songs other than broadcasters. If you want to listen to Eminem's Guilty Conscience then you want to hear all the words. Otherwise the damn song doesn't make any "scratching noise" sense.
Surely, in this day and age, if Google wanted to offer an option to only allow censored music - perhaps at the behest of parents - then it would be simple to either opt in, or opt out of that system? But perhaps most baffling of all, Google itself allows you to buy explicit tracks via its own store. So what the "blank space" is that all about?
Does this **** you right off? Please feel free to comment below, although we might delete the ones with swearing.