Google Shows Off Chrome’s Web Tech With “Jam With Chrome,” An Online Band App Where You Play With Friends

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Google launched a nifty Chrome Experiment called “Jam With Chrome,” which showcases the capabilities of its Chrome web browser via an online app you can use to make music. Think those interactive Google Doodles are fun? Your morning is about to be wasted.

After launching Jam with Chrome website, you can pick from 19 music instruments, including acoustic and electric guitars, drum kits, drum machines and keyboards, and then you click again to start playing. The instruments will then pop up on the screen, becoming big enough to really see and use. To play, you’ll use your mouse and keyboard to control the various functions. For example, you click your mouse on keyboard keys or guitar strings, or drag it across the instrument. Instruments have an “easy” mode for those who are just goofing around, and a “pro” mode for folks who have a better idea what they’re doing. Online help and tips help you figure out how to use each one.

Up at the top of the screen, users can switch a metronome off and on, adjust tempo settings, change key, swap instruments and access the online help. But the real fun comes from the social component – you aren’t meant just to entertain yourself with these things – you can actually play with friends in different locations at the same time. You grab the keyboard, they do guitar, another has the drums. You get the idea. It’s an online band…and a pretty awesome time waster, too. (Those TPS reports can totally wait.) The only thing missing? No way to record, or save your amazing creations – but you can share JAM via Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Like other Chrome Experiments, the online band is meant to show off some of Chrome’s technical underpinnings – in this case, HTML5 features including the Web Audio API, Websockets, Canvas, and CSS3. Google Web Fonts, were also used and the tool was built on Google’s App Engine using the Go Programming language.