According to a research conducted last year in UK, music videos drive nearly one-third of the total traffic to video sharing sites including YouTube, which because of it’s familiarity, is a popular place on the web to listen to and discover new music. Despite this there is no jukebox-like functionality on the website. You can setup playlist and channels but those aren’t easily created, requires registration and is such a hassle that it takes the fun out of music surfing. If you are among those who frequent YouTube solely to listen to music, here are two elegant solutions.
Tunesicles is a mash-up of YouTube and Last.fm that makes searching for and listening to music on YouTube very convenient. The new service allows you to search for music on YouTube and build a playlist from the search results. It is possible to setup a large list of tracks within minutes. The playlist can also be shared with others via a unique URL assigned to each playlist. No user registration is required to use Tunesicles.
You begin by typing the title of any song or name of any artist/album you want to listen to. Then from the drop down list select a suggestion. The results appear on another drop down list. Each entry on the result is accompanied by a “Add to playlist” button. Click it to add the song to the playlist. You can even add whole albums.
The video starts playing the instant it’s added to the playlist. The player controls appear at the bottom of the the playlist/website that allows you to play, pause and skip songs. An on/off button on the right darkens the entire screen except the playing video for a better viewing experience.
Although not immediately apparent, the playlist is interactive: you can drag and drop the tracks to rearrange them, sort the playlist by song name, album name, artist name or track length. Double clicking on a track will play it. The track length is shown in seconds and not minute:seconds that requires you to do some calculations mentally. There are a few oddities and quirks like the search term disappearing when you click on the search field and layout misalignment in some browsers.
Youtify is a more refined service and it combines, aside from YouTube, SoundCloud and Official.fm. Youtify’s elegant interface allows you to search for music across all supported services. The real time search brings you results even before you have finished typing the track or artist name. The results are categorized by their sources, viz. YouTube, SoundCloud and Official.fm. Simply right click on the results and then click on “Queue”.
Once you have finished adding tracks to the Queue, click on “Play Queue” on the left to start playing music. You can continue to add tracks to the queue while the music is playing.
Rather than creating a queue, you can create a playlist. To create a playlist, enter a name and then drag and drop the tracks from the search results into the playlist. Unlike queues, tracks on the playlist can be reordered.
When a track is playing, the video from YouTube plays within a small window. There are player controls that lets you play/pause and skip. There is also a shuffle button.
Youtify is completely free and there’s no login required.