Google Australia launches YouTube Sessions music channel, tweaks Maps

Google Australia has stepped up the search giant's push into entertainment with the launch of YouTube Sessions.

Billed as the online equivalent of an intimate pub gig, YouTube's Ernesto Soriano, announced the launch on Google's Australian blog yesterday.

''We’re proud to announce the launch of YouTube Sessions, an assortment of new music videos, premieres, exclusives, and of course a jam session or two with the artists you love and a few up and coming sensations,'' he said.

Australian pop singer Jessica Mauboy is the first artist to be featured on Sessions, and Google has invited users to put questions to Ms Mauboy via the site.

YouTube Sessions marks an interesting new direction for Google as a content creator - the search giant previously collated music videos posted by others on YouTube, but Sessions is the first time Google has created and posted its own music content.

Meantime, Australian Google Maps users are seeing a minor interface refresh. Links to traffic information, along with boxes allowing the user to choose between map, satellite and Google Earth views, have been rolled into a single ''cluster'' which expands to show a full range of options on mouse-over. The changes only appear to be available to Australian users at this point.

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Vinay Kumar said,
Aren't there enough YouTube videos around ?

It's not just the videos, it's the presentation of the whole thing. It's got a few new features to it as well, like a Slashdot-style comment voting system to vote the favourite comments up to pose the most popular questions, as voted by the users, to the artist.

[quote=Vinay Kumar said,]Aren't there enough YouTube videos around ?[/q
No Seriously i think it's ok the way things are with the amount of video's. You tube is the most popular site world wide. And it's like with the social net work sites they are getting larger as well.