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Environment

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The most common environment report in presence updates are indications of what music the user is currently listening to. This can be used to give the flavor of the person’s environment, and doubles as a potential talking point. A “what I’m listening to” field or the use of a status field for this purpose is something the user can fill in manually, or an application can be set to read what music is currently playing from the operating system or device. The process of uploading information about the current song playing to an ongoing stream is referred to as “scrobbling,” (as popularized by Last.fm).

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An application can automatically detect the current song playing in an application such as iTunes and assign its identifying information as the user’s current status. Often, a musical note symbol serves as a clue to the user’s friends that the information wasn’t entered manually and in fact is song data.