Music videos are amazingly popular online, even more so than offline these days. No, seriously. The majority of the most-watched videos on the Web are official music videos. The only other videos that can compete with music videos for online eyeballs are movie trailers and those which go viral through a combination of brilliance and good fortune.
The problem is finding these music videos, especially if you want to watch in high-definition. And who wouldn’t want to see Lady Gaga flashing her midriff in HD? Or watch Beyonce’s rather magnificent hiney filling up your computer, tablet, or smartphone screen in HD? If you’re going to watch a Justin Timberlake video just leave it in standard definition. Because that guy looks like a troll.
YouTube is, of course, the daddy of online video. Owned by Google, and owning everyone else in the sector, YouTube is the first destination most people will check out when searching for videos of all different kinds. Once you navigate through the choppy waters filled with cats doing funny things you’ll find a site filled with different sections, one of which is wholly dedicated to music.
Here you can select music videos to watch by ‘Genre’, ‘Recommended’, or ‘Popular’. Or as I tend to do, scroll through the charts on the right-hand sidebar.
The majority of official music videos on YouTube (and I’m purposely excluding the fan-made and concert footage videos) are available to watch in high-definition. But it’s unlikely to be turned on by default unless you’re signed in to the site and have manipulated the settings.
By clicking ‘Settings > Playback Setup’ and then ticking ‘Always play HD when switching to full screen (when available)’ you can ensure you get the HD experience (at least when in fullscreen mode).
If you would rather not be signed in to YouTube, or would rather pick and choose on a video by video basis, then just click the ‘Settings’ button underneath the video and select ‘720p HD’ (as seen in the screenshot above).
Vevo is an attempt by three of the four major record labels to take control of how official music videos are played and watched. Sony and Universal are joint partners, with EMI also licensing its content to Vevo. Warners decided to do its own thing and ink a deal with MTV instead. The fools. Vevo has its own website, but also powers music videos on several other sites, including YouTube and Music Video Genome.
Vevo has wisely decided to include an ‘HD Only‘ option for those who want to view music videos in the highest definition possible. It’s as simple as ticking the ‘HD Only’ box in the top-right of the homepage (as seen in the screenshot above). You can then sort the videos by genre, popularity, or date, with a slider letting you select any year between 1950 and present-day.
By signing in to the site (Facebook option available) you can also create playlists.
Vimeo is an online video site with a strong and dedicated community. It’s like the smaller, indie version of YouTube. It has embraced HD video, and also provides a platform for content creators to showcase their work. This includes music artists, many of whom share their HD music videos on the site.
The HD Music Video Channel on Vimeo does what it says on the tin. Which is, it contains a constantly-updating selection of the best HD music videos. These are the cream of high-definition music videos, ones which are deserving of only being watched in HD.
There is also a ‘Shout Box’ which has regular comments added to it, many of which contain links to HD music videos that are often hidden gems.
Muzu.tv brands itself The Music Video Site, so it’s hardly surprising it’s a great resource for watching the latest music videos, many of them in HD.
You can sift through the huge range of videos on the site by ‘Genre’ and ‘Charts’, or stick to ‘New Releases’ and ‘Breaking Artists’. There are also playlists based on a particular artist, genre, or current event. And a ‘Video Fight Club’ that sees two videos face off against one another.
The Muzu ‘Jukebox’ deserves its own mention. This feature allows you to type in the name of your favorite artist and then watch either their back catalog of music videos or music videos by similar artists. The ‘Jam’ function combines the two into a playlist in a similar way to Spotify Radio. But with the added bonus of visuals as well as audio.
Similar to YouTube, if you find yourself watching a video not in HD then simply click on the ‘HD’ button under the video and select ‘720p’ (as seen in the screenshot above).
Music Video Genome
The Music Video Genome is a frankly a genius attempt at bringing Pandora (and more recently, Spotify) usability to music videos. The Music Video Genome is powered by VHX, another site worth checking out for music videos, and it streams its content from aforementioned sites such as YouTube, Vevo, and Vimeo.
The Music Video Genome acts like a music video finder, and is labeled Personalized Music Television. This is MTV for the Internet generation.
You simply type the name of your favorite artist into the search box on the homepage, and let The Music Video Genome do the rest. What you’ll get is a fullscreen stream of continuous music videos based on that artist. If you don’t like a particular HD music video the system throws up then simply skip to the next.
MTV may have rejected showing wall-to-wall music videos as they did in the 1980s, but that doesn’t mean you have to watch the lifestyle and reality TV shows the network now wants you to watch. Instead, head online and watch the music videos you want to watch. And thanks to these resources, only the music videos you want to watch. Without all the extraneous trash lumped in with them.
Have you used any of these resources for seeking out and watching the latest HD music videos? Or do you have another resource you use instead? As always we’re keen to hear your thoughts here on MakeUseOf. Your suggestion can help shape future articles others will be able to make use of.
Image Credit: David Torcivia