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Google Unveils Pandora-Type Service for YouTube

Although Google is supposedly working on a "Facebook killer" called Google Me, the company has integrated Facebook connectivity with a new YouTube service just launched on Wednesday. Called Leanback, the new service takes on a Pandora Radio-like focus and offers a continuous stream of YouTube videos based on user settings and preferences.

Not familiar with Pandora Radio? The streaming music service allows the user to create a "station" by entering the name of a band or song. Say you're a Lady Gaga fan--by entering her name, Pandora creates a specialized station that not only features her hit songs, but other artists associated wither her style. YouTube Leanback is similar in that it pools an infinite stream of YouTube videos based on your subscriptions, videos shared by your friends on Facebook, and more.

"You can also watch the most popular comedy, entertainment, news, or more," Google said in a blog Wednesday night. "And if you don’t care for the video that’s playing, use the right arrow key on your keyboard to skip ahead to the next video, or try the up/down arrows to search, access player controls, and browse channels and videos. You won’t need your mouse for this experience."

Currently the service is in beta, and doesn't work unless you're already signed into YouTube. Users wanting to watch feeds other than what's defined in their account can merely hit the down arrow to access a hidden menu. Want nothing but comedy? There's a "station" for that. Want only music videos? There's a channel for that too.

To see YouTube Leanback in action, check out the video below, or simply head here if you have a YouTube account.