When upgrading their Instant messaging (IM) and VoIP software released earlier this week, Google has taken the opportunity to introduce a new feature – Music Trends.
The idea of letting people know what music you are and have been listening to has been around for a long time, with bloggers using various plug-ins to show the information on their blogs.
Through Google Talk, Google have taken it to an even more immediate level. With the latest version of the software on their machines and switching on the option, people who are listed as your friends within GTalk can see the music that you’re listening to at that moment, displayed on the status line.
It currently works with four pieces of music playing software iTunes; Winamp; Windows Media Player and Yahoo Music Engine, with is anticipated that more will be supported soon.
So what? you may say. Google say it’s an interesting way to discover new music, which we’re sure has nothing to do with one of the other features of GTalk, file transfer – “cool tune, man, can you IM it over?” Surely not. Would be a great way to get people buying music, through a long rurmoured Google Music-buying site though wouldn’t it?
Google are also grabbing all of the information of which tracks are being played and compiling them in to a chart of top songs, broken down into genre and country (only USA currently).
We can just hear the clatter of keyboards as memos shoot around record companies insisting that all of the employees load up the software, and play the latest boy band that they’re trying to promote.