Wednesday, May 21, 2014

drag2share: Facebook app will soon identify songs and TV shows just by listening to them


If you've ever wanted to tell your Facebook friends what you're listening to -- say, REM's "It's The End of The World And We Know it (And I Feel Fine)" -- without having to spell the whole thing out, well, now you can. Facebook has just announced a new option in its mobile app that can detect the song, TV show or movie that's playing in the background just by using the phone's microphone. Once it names that tune (or show), you can simply insert that info into your post with just a few taps -- no typing required.

Songs will appear as 30-second previews linked to Rdio, Spotify or Deezer depending on your preference (if you don't have a preferred service, Facebook will select one at random), while TV shows will indicate not just the name of the program but also metadata like the season number and episode title. Once you choose to turn the feature on -- and yes, it's opt-in -- the microphone will kick in whenever you're in a compose window. You'll know it's working when you see a blue audio bar animation either in the top right corner or over the smiley icon at the bottom.

Having the app listen in to your environment sounds like a rather creepy proposition, but Facebook assures us that the app is only scanning for song and TV info and no sound is ever recorded or stored on its servers. You'll also always have full control over your posts and can decide not to share what it detects. In other words, you don't have to reveal that you were just watching My Little Pony if you don't want to.