Google released a new version of their Google Talk client today, and it’s got some fun new stuff in it. Honestly I have actually been preferring gTalk to the other networks for awhile, which is apparently somewhat unusual. Primarily this is for two reasons:
- Small, compact, clean looking client.
- Centralized chat history.
The big one was always #2 by a long shot. There used to be a service (That I can’t even remember the name of unfortunately) that performed the same service for the other IM networks by having you configure your clients to point at their proxy server. Seeing gTalk have that feature right out of the gate made me a fan instantly, and the interface has always been nice and simple over the, IMHO, hideously over cluttered MSN, Yahoo, and AIM clients that I’ve seen lately. That wasn’t actually so much of an issue necessarily because I was using Trillian anyway, but it was certainly a point in their favor.
Then the network admins where I work started blocking IM traffic that was not MSN and somehow missed gTalk. That made the use of Trillian at work pretty much pointless and I wasn’t really at my system at home often enough anymore to really care there so when the new MSN, er, Windows Live Messenger Beta started last spring I unloaded Trillian and played around with that, but left gTalk loaded. I certainly used it more than MSN when I could simply for the centralized chat logging.
When they introduced the interface with Gmail? Eh. I have it turned off but they have certainly been working on the system slowly but surely and the new release really shows that well.
The feature that I’m, oddly, most happy about in the new release? Music history. They finally picked up a feature that other players have had for awhile to display your currently playing music as a status message. The thing they are doing different however, is sending that information back to their servers where it shows up in your personalized search history.
As a religious user of scrobbler clients to upload my playlist data to last.fm for the past couple of years I am really excited to see another service dabbling in this space. Like Last.FM, they will be showing aggregate information on the Music Trends page which I have yet to locate. Unlike Last.FM your personal history is in your personalized search history and I haven’t seen anything that says you can get external access to it.
However, given that I’ve been having trouble with the iScrobbler plug-in crashing out iTunes at home for the last six months or so this may finally let me pick up data logging at home again.