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tag: Google

SOUND RESEARCH LOG: What Will Be the Hamburger of Voice Search?

Even though it’s over two and a half years since Apple introduced Siri and almost 50 years since Douglas Rain provided the voice for Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey, we’re very much at the beginning of voice control. There are few if any norms or standards for voice commands activated by users, especially in contrast with the increasing uniformity of web design, where common elements are pervasive, such as endless scroll, small-print footers, and the three-lined “hamburger” button that signifies the presence of a menu. The norms in voice search will be accumulated in the coming years, not just thanks to decisions made by the big players, but by small initiatives, like the Tabs Board controller, a Chrome extension covered yesterday by addictivetips.com:

Voice search integration arrived in Chrome quite a while ago and it is an excellent watered down basic version of Google Now. One of the many differences between Google Now and Voice Search on Chrome is that Google Now can launch apps installed on your device while Voice Search is simply what its name implies it is with no support for any other browser function. Tabs Board is a Chrome extension that helps you switch between tabs open in a window. It also lets you search for tabs by a voice command which is what sets it apart from other tab management extensions. Both the voice search and the tab switching overlay can be opened with a keyboard shortcut that a user can customize. You can search for tabs with either a voice command or you can search and select them using the mouse. The extension lists open tabs in an overlay at the bottom of Chrome.

As with most voice commands, the product assumes that your microphone is always one. Get Tab Boards at the chrome.google.com.

This entry cross-posted from the Disquiet linkblog project sound.tumblr.com.

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SOUND RESEARCH LOG: Music Wars, Discovery Versus Inactive Listening

Over at venturebeat.com, Dwayne De Freitas weighs in on the purchase of Songza by Google. As De Freitas notes, the purchase comes at a time when “digital music sales volume is declining.” Songza, he argues, provides a “hassle”-free listening experience, with none of the effort required with other services. Ultimately, that’s arguably more about music as background listening than music “discovery,” which always seems to suggest more active listening.

“The key here is that when it comes to listening, users can set it and forget it. While services like Spotify and Rdio give users incredibly tailored experiences with access to hot indie tracks and an inexhaustible supply of songs to choose from, services like Beats and Songza are simpler — allowing the user access to the same or similar music with none of the set-up hassle associated with creating the playlist themselves. At the same time, users gain more control over what they’re listening to than they would with Pandora’s Music Genome algorithm.”

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