This slipped under the radar last Friday, but in light of Valve's recent foray into the living room, it's noteworthy news. In a post on the Steam Community forums, Valve's Christen Coomer has introduced the Steam Music Beta, a new feature that's "coming soon" to SteamOS, Steam's Big Picture interface, and eventually, the desktop version of the Steam client.
Steam Music lets users point Steam (or SteamOS) to a local music directory and then play the tunes within during gaming sessions. Playback is controlled through the Steam overlay, which is accessible via the Steam controller, and judging by the screenshots, Steam Music presents everything rather neatly. The announcement post even mentions playlists.
So, where does one sign up? According to Coomer, users must join the Steam Music community group to "express interest in beta participation." She says members of the group will be invited to join the beta in "waves" until the feature comes out of beta, at which point everyone should be able to give it a try.
I can see the appeal of this feature. Heck, every now and then, I'll disable in-game sounds and, with a little help from foobar2000's universal keyboard shortcuts, listen to some relaxing music while playing Race The Sun. I expect it'll be nice to have the option to do the same thing in the living room. (Thanks to Polygon for the link.)