For years it's been common for people posting to music-related email lists and forums to sign-off with a note saying "now playing" (abbreviated to "np") followed by the title of the album they had on while composing the message. It's a way of adding a personal touch, disclosing a bit more of your musical identity, and hoping some of the aura of the music would rub off on you.
Of course, you could always claim you were listening to Trout Mask Replica when you actually had a Carpenters compilation on (I'm not casting aspersions: both have a place in my collection). But if you're listening with iTunes or Windows Media Player, and you have a new feature in MSN Messenger 7.0 enabled, then your buddies will automatically be able to see what's actually playing on your computer.
For me, this would get interesting if you could actually elect to listen to what your buddy is playing: the virtual equivalent of saying, "please can I listen in on one of the earphones on your iPod" or just sitting in the same room playing records and chatting about them. Clearly there are licensing issues with this, but Mercora has a legal solution that allows users to stream music from friends' collections.
What I have in mind is a solution that enables both streamer and streamed-to users being able to listen more or less synchronously, and have a chat via instant messenger at the same time. Does anyone know if this functionality is available anywhere (Mercora is Windows-only, so I can't use it)?Posted by David Jennings in section(s) Future of Music, Music and Multimedia, Social Software on 25 April 02006 | TrackBack