Google Play Music gets desktop notifications, HTML5 player, with new Labs tweaks

Google Labs, Google Play
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Google Labs, Google Play

In an effort to help spruce up its new emphasis on media, Google has rolled out a new set of tweaks today for its Google Play Music player.

The company already has Labs, or a collection of customizable tweaks, for other popular web services such as Gmail and Maps.

The Google Play Music’s Lab is a bit sparse when it comes to selection, listing only three new lab features. It now gives users the option of adding track notifications that pop up when a new song begins playing (but only for Google Chrome). You can also rate each song on a scale of 1 to 5, which is hardly a huge addition considering how many other music players already do this.

But the last and most notable feature in the Music Labs is the ability to enable HTML5 Audio playback. This works in any browser that supports HTML5 Audio, including the mobile Safari browser on the iPhone and iPad. Basically, this feature makes the Google Play Music site work without the need for Flash, and it’s also a decent upgrade to the previous mobile web version of Google Music.

It’ll be interesting to see if Google will be able to grow interest in the service with new labs features in the same way it has done for Gmail.

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