February 26, 2013 at 11:21 am

Google Is Fixing a Big Problem with Web Music

google chrome audio web musicArmed with little more than a web browser, you can listen to just about any song in the world, for free, one way or the other.

A problem exists with using a browser as your music interface — and it’s a big one.

If, like the author, you often have dozens of tabs open in multiple browser windows, it can be a nightmare to track down the one that’s playing music.

Multiple tabs can play different songs at the same time. Another tab might suddenly start playing a flash video ad. Who knows where that music is coming from? What is clear is that this is not a convenient way to listen to music.

For that reason, I, and I suspect lots of other music fans, stick to a desktop player like iTunes, Spotify, or Rdio’s desktop client, if only so that I know where the music is playing, when I need to pause, skip, turn it down, and so on, even though the web contains more diverse sources of music.

If you use the Chrome web browser, you’re in luck: Google is working on a neat fix for web audio, making the idea of listening to music mainly through the web browser much more attractive.

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As reported by The Next Web, this feature is already available in Canary, which is the most advanced beta version of the Google Chrome browser. There’s no guarantee that it will migrate into the regular, stable version of version Chrome, but we can’t see why not.

This feature began as a way for Chrome to keep some tabs active, even when the user is not looking at them, but as TNW notes, its implications for web-based music are specific and real. Finally, you’ll be able to toggle between stuff like This Is My Jam and SoundCloud without shuffling through a mess of browser tabs.