Signature of the times

FoxyTunes makes a minor update with a fun feature.

FoxyTunes\' latest tweak adds a button to your Web-based e-mail client that lets you inform your recipient of your latest audio distraction. (Credit: CNET Networks)

How long does it take you to type, "Now Playing"? And how can FoxyTunes, the popular browser extension, help?

Switching windows to your desktop's MP3 player takes up precious nanoseconds, too. Even worse, you might have to physically move and actually get up and look at your stereo. In the average e-mailer's day, that could add up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of seconds.

All right, maybe not millions of seconds--that's 277 hours, give or take. But you get my point: sitting there typing, "Now Playing: 'Rubber Duckie' by Ernie," is a major time kill, not to mention how it can cramp your creative workflow.

The latest minor-point update to FoxyTunes seeks to shave those interruptions down to a single mouse click by introducing a new button to your Web-based e-mail client. Shaped like a treble clef, clicking on it adds to the e-mail that you're writing a series of dashes followed on a new line by the familiar "Now Playing" text. After that, the default is set to show the song name and the artist's name, but you can adjust that very quickly in the Configuration panel.

It's set to work with Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Horde Webmail, Squirrelmail, AOL Mail, Facebook, WordPress, and MySpace Blogs, which indicates that the company figures this is going to be a reasonably popular feature.

Now if only they could create a button for "Now Reading."

Do you like to tell your friends what you're listening to via Now Playing in your e-mails? Or does it make you twitch with anger? Let us know in the comments section below.