Microsoft’s MSN Messenger 7.0 works with Apple’s iTunes, to a point

“As noted in today’s coverage of Microsoft’s MSN Messenger 7.0 launch, the latest version of the instant-messaging program lets people automatically display to others the name of the song playing at that moment on their computer. In a twist, however, the feature works not only with Microsoft’s Windows Media Player but also with Apple’s rival iTunes music player,” Todd Bishop blogs for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “But that’s where the accommodation ends. People who see a good song from a friend’s playlist can click on the title to go buy it, but the instant-messaging service takes them to the MSN Music service — not to the iTunes Music Store.”

Full article here.

Bishop’s full article, “Microsoft adds voluntary advertising to MSN’s instant messaging,” upon which the above blog entry is based can be read here.


  1. Personally, I don’t really want the people I chat with to know what I’m listening to. If I want to tell ’em, great… but I really don’t want info flying in the background.

    Geez, what an M$ thing to do



  2. No big deal. It’s all contingent on the accuracy or lack thereof of the ID3 tags, anyway. I edit every track to include the artist’s country of origin in the song title. Needless to say, my own music doesn’t show up in any store anywhere. heh. Doesn’t need to either, ’cause I own all the CDs. ahaha.

  3. I don’t think anyone is realizing what this implies. One application shouldn’t know what the other is doing. There is a separation in memory and the OS handles all of this. The ID3 tags aren’t broadcast throughout the OS (like some are implying). If you are running iTunes, that app has an audio interface to the sound device. The chain of execution should go from disk to memory to processor to audio device. In between you have OS operations that take place to ensure this all happens. At no time should the information that this application is using be used by the OS to provide information to another app, especially a Microsoft communications application. This is what some people call SPYING.

    Let the hammers of justice figure this one out.

  4. I bet that feature will allow hackers to gain full access to your system (if you are on Windows). Just give it a little time. But Microsoft writes applications with holes like swiss cheese, so I won’t be surprised if a hack happens on Monday. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  5. “but I really don’t want info flying in the background.”

    GrapeGraphics, this reminds me of BACK TO THE FUTURE II were Marty Sr. is talking to Needles on the parlor video phone. All kinds of “why do I need to know that?” trivia is scrolling by — Needles’ birthday, his pet peeves, etc. It’s like the students I see wandering blindly all over campus with cell phones grafted to their heads. They feel lost and isolated if they’re not “connected” every moment. “I’ll be there in 30 seconds.” I was leaving one day and saw two students near Morse Auditorium. It was a real Three Stooges scene when they suddenly realized they were only a few paces apart. “Oh, there you are!” How about a simple “I’ll meet you at Morse at 7” earlier in the day and leave the real-time out of it!

  6. edgeknight,

    I’m sure iTunes has an API that allows other applications to interface with it. I hardly think MS is hacking iTunes here. There are plugins available for iChat that does this very same thing (displays your current track to your iChat buddies, only without the store links). So I think MS is simply adding a feature that they recognize some people want and adding some commercial gain to that if people want to purchase the song.

    Besides, I’m pretty sure this feature is optional and can be turned off in the preferences.

  7. Apologies to Andy C. He is *not* stupid, but why he didn’t directly mention iChatStatus is beyond me. In other news, apparently this feature will be in the Tiger version of iChat AV.

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