Facebook is widely expected to launch a music service at its f8 developer conference on September 22. A new rumor suggests Facebook Music will have two interesting features: scrobbling and track unification, according to "a very good source" cited by TechCrunch.
The former means tracks you listen to will be automatically added to your profile. The latter means seamless integration between the different music services – if you see a playlist or track posted from one service, you'll be able to click and play it in your own service.
Scrobbling, a term which was made popular by Last.fm, will hopefully have an option to be turned off. At the same time though, it would be nice to be able to selectively share songs. I'm sure Facebook has thought of this as it doesn't want to further clutter the News Feed.
Track unification could be a game-changer if it's executed properly. Content resolution between all the different music partners involved is something that hasn't been done before and could be Facebook Music's killer feature: you will be able to share songs without having to worry if your friends will be able to play them back. Of course, every song isn't available on every service, but in those cases Facebook should simply offer up a preview of the track in question.
Last month, a rumor suggested Facebook's music service would not be solely its own: instead, the company will likely partner with music streaming firms. The big ones are expected to be Spotify, Rdio, and MOG. That being said, there could be others, and as I've said before, I think Facebook could even have different partners for different regions.
Two months ago, Facebook accidentally revealed that it is planning to launch a music service. The discovery was made in the code for the FacebookVideoCalling.jar that is downloaded when you first use Facebook's new video calling service. The Facebook installer in question is capable of downloading "MusicDownloadDialog" files for a service codenamed "vibes."
Four months ago, a rumor suggested a Music tab will be added in the left-hand column, where Facebook lists Photos, Friends, Places, Groups, Deals, Pages, and Games. It will show up if you have listened to music from one of Facebook's music partners. There will also reportedly be Music Notifications, Recommended Songs, Top Songs from friends, Top Albums from friends with cover art, Recent listens from your friends, and a persistent Play/Pause button added to the bottom of Facebook where you currently have the chat icon.
Since listening to music, sharing music, and talking about music are all social activities, it makes sense that Facebook wants to be a part of this age-old phenomenon. The rumors and leaks have been coming steadily for months, but if everything goes as planned, everything will be official in less than two weeks.