We just finished having a look at how well the new Google Now music ID service works, and here we are with some not-so-good news. It's broken on HTC Sense. At first, you'd get an ugly error, and a force close when you tried to use it. But Google has changed something on the server side and you're presented with a slightly more friendly note that "this action is not support on this device." Neither is good, but the latter is better, I guess.

The reason why it doesn't work is simple -- the original Jelly Bean Google Ear app isn't included in Sense 4+. The new Google Now method is simply calling it with a different interface, and since it's not there it is no bueno. We're not the only ones who noticed this either -- Russell over at Geek.com came to the same conclusion we did -- if you can sideload the app you can get it to work.

That's fine for you and me (and Russell). We can deal with little nags like this, but in the bigger picture HTC and/or Google are hopefully going to address this. We've reached out to HTC to see what they say, but since we saw the server-side change we wanted to address it tonight.

The "real" fix is for Google to drop the music ID service into the Play Store, and change the message for HTC devices that it is a required download. Or for HTC to just send out an OTA to take care of it, but that one is a stretch. In the meantime, be sure to hit the forums if you feel like fixing your DNA or One X phone by hand.

More: Geek.com


Reader comments

Google's music ID service doesn't play well with HTC Sense


Yup, ran into this right away. Sent the reports in each time.
Wonder if that ID service is capable of being extracted and put in an .apk file? Would make a good temporary fix.

Too bad they don't have an option to run it thru SoundHound as an alternative.

Soundhound launches faster than Google Now. Especially if you put it in one the Sense lock screen quick access items.

First android beam, now this......I'm so glad I went with the GS3 over the Evo LTE. But I still miss the kickstand :/

From what I can see, this is not HTC's "fault". If "ear" is not an included component in Android, then it should be offered as a dependency package through Google Play (the same way in Linux one RPM package will pull in a dependency RPM package).

Or, Google should put "ear" in as part of the base OS so it is guaranteed to be included.

Google Play does not support dependencies, instead application should detect if application is installed (it can do it by detecting if specific intent is available) and offer feature that using it, if not available it should inform user where to get it.

i don't know about that. i've used Linux exclusively as my desktop OS for several years now, and supporting dependencies could get really messy really fast (especially when you start talking about compatibility with older apps on newer version of Android, or older devices trying to run new apps.) you also start running into potentially major cross-compatibility issues, ie; will installing a dependency to make one app work cause other apps to quit working? or will a dependency overwrite a different version of a critical system file and cause the whole OS to break? it's increasingly rare in Linux these days for dependecies to cause these problems, but it can and does still happen.

Android as it is now is incredibly user-friendly. but, as soon as you start throwing dependency support into the mix like that, you automatically alienate a LOT of users who don't want to have to go dig around terminal commands and stuff like that to fix a broken OS. supporting dependencies sounds like a good idea when given a quick thought, but any Linux user will tell you that the loop of satisfying dependencies can quickly devolve into a nightmare situation.

HTC is still using it's old crappy outdated sense skin, they need to get rid of it period. If they would just make 1 HTC phone with pure android and then sit back and watch it sell out, like a nexus, I'd think they'd scrap sense all together. I'd love to see all manufacturers offer at least one phone with vanilla android on it just once a year, and I'd bet people would buy them more than a skinned phone.

Google Ear is not part of OEM Skin... so how Sence 4+ should include it? :p it's simply not included in HTC system image of Android. Btw, insted of guessing somebody should check what ADB was throwing durning "forece close" (which means unhandled exception) maybe there some other issue.

HTC won't even care.
They have agreement with SoundHound and already buried them in Sense system.
Even TrackID is now available for other non Sony(Ericsson) devices.
To search a song with TrackID or SoundHound or Shazam, we only need to push one button, not to say "What's this song.." and then more action.

Stop blaming Sense.

This is a GOOGLE Packaging error. Nothing more.

They released NOW for the entire Jelly Bean world without bothering to make sure all required packages were included, or making an option to call other packages like Soundhound or Shazam.

(Side issue: Google's music ID service sucks in comparison to several of the alternatives.)

Sucks. I liked Sense, but it was crap like this that forced me (and seemingly many others) into "Nexus or nothing" territory.

Oh please. Just stop with all the hyperbole over this. "This is why it's Nexus or nothing", etc, etc. Please.

Coming from the Gnex, the DNA Sense experience is great. There are many improvements IMO over the stock experience. Of course without stock you will get these occasional little issues - and yes this is an EXTREMELY little issue.

The widget works in Sense, just not the Google Now integration (yet). This is perhaps the worst example I have seen given yet about why it's "Nexus or nothing!". Perhaps some more moderate comments will reduce the laughter at these extreme positions ...


Google makes a packaging error.
Nerd Rage suggests we all make a mad rush to buy only Google phones.

Works on my evo lte running 4.1.1

I'm using the xda apk though. I don't think the baked in version offers anything extra I would be missing.

Edit: Newest version on the playstore works. Good work google!