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Google Talk Adds Voice, File Transfer

Google entered the already-crowded instant messaging market almost a year ago with it’s Jabber/XMPP-based Google Talk—now, the company is releasing a new version of its (still beta!) Windows chat client with new file transfer, music status sharing, and voicemail features.

According to Google, file transfer capabilities were the most-requested feature from Google Talk users, so the company has added new file transfer features which enable users to swap files using the instant messaging client. Google likes the idea of folks sharing photos this way: users can drop up to ten photos into a chat window and previous will appear in context so users can talk about them right away. Once the files are transferred, recipients can find or open them with a single click.

The Google Voicemail feature enables users to record a voice message for a contact if they don’t respond, but the feature also enables users to record voice memos and send them to any email address; Google’s GMail service now supports playing back these voicemail messages. Finally, the new music status sharing feature enables you to share your music listening habits with your friends, and—optionally—the entire world as part Google Labs’ new Music Trends project.

Google Talk requires Windows 2000/XP, although Mac and Linux users can chat with Google Talk users with Jabber-savvy IM clients.