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Gmail ads related to mp3 being played?

A few minutes ago I was playing a track in Winamp, with Gmail open in an Opera window, and on refreshing Gmail, the Google ‘web clip’ at the top of the inbox display contained the same phrase, ‘jet stream’, as the track.

Is that merely a coincidence, or does Gmail monitor what music is being played by a user? I don’t have Google Desktop or Toolbar or any of that installed.


  1. Adrian

    Coincidence. But imagine if Google bought…

    And I recommend the neo retro Foobar2000 instead of the genuinely retro Winamp. Actually I recommend Amarok, but you’d have to be using Linux.

  2. Dan

    Yeah, I know, I’m living in 1998. Thanks Adrian for the Foobar2000 tip, I’ll try that out, also will try amaroK to replace Rhythmbox or whatever it is that comes with Ubuntu.

    As Paul says, repeatability is a test of the Gmail thing. I’m fairly persuaded that it’s a coincidence, but we’ll see…

  3. I’m pretty certain that it’s a coincidence. I can’t think of any way that a site could gather that sort of information.

    It just shows that you regard Google as the sort of company that could gather this information though, and utilise it well. It’s part of the social conscience now that Google are ‘the information people’.

    I uploaded my calendars to Google Calendar recently, but didn’t feel entirely comfortable about one company holding that and all my email/search habits as well. How easy do I really want to make it to market to me?

  4. I know the Google Talk client software (windows only) can detect the music you listen to and they ask for permission to record it, though I haven’t an inkling what they’re doing with the data.

  5. Tendron

    It could be that your mp3’s ID3 tag included a code that would make Winamp open a particular url, but you’d have to be using an older version of Winamp for that problem to occur.

  6. frik---

    Nick, first of all thanks for the guide you provide.

    I’m an old winamp user since 1997, and I’ve used really often its visualizations connected to a projector as a simple visual show in dance parties (yeah, simple BUT AMAZING for all the people looking at the visuals, always in sync with the beat, or the frequencies that DJ are playing at the moment)

    I have ALWAYS UN-checked the flag “yes, allow anonymous statistics” during the setup, thinking about “WTF they want to know of my user habits?”

    maybe this answer to my paranoid-induced choice? 🙂

    Or, as Dan politely writes: “s that merely a coincidence, or does Gmail monitor what music is being played by a user?”

    Maybe Winamp (read AOL) has some kind of deal with Google?

    up to you…

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