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music listening toolsListing to music online has been around for some time, but only in the past little while, has it really become mainstream with so many options to choose from. It really is quite incredible – we have the opportunity to find music like never before, and listen to copious amounts of it!

But there are still some gaps to fill. For instance, audio files can be embedded into webpages, but those webpages have no way to listen to all the music. Or what about controlling the playing and pausing of songs on websites that don’t respond to your keyboard controls? These are just two of the several problems that still exist, despite the great conveniences of music on the Internet.

In this article we’ll talk about seven tools that will change how you listen and interact with your online tunes.

Songdrop (Chrome & Bookmarklet)

You probably don’t only listen to music in one location on the web. You might find about an artist through a song embedded in a blog post, then read about them on a website, which contains a YouTube video of them performing live. How do you take these two audio clips, from different sources, and save them (and future songs) in one place for easy listening? Songdrop is your solution.

music listening tools

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How does Songdrop collect these songs? Through its Dropit button, which comes in the form of a Chrome extension and bookmarklet. We’ve actually covered Songdrop Songdrop: Your Free & Favorite Song-Saving Service You Didn't Even Know About Until Now Songdrop: Your Free & Favorite Song-Saving Service You Didn't Even Know About Until Now The streaming music all of us listen to is scattered throughout the web, so when you want to listen to that one song that you can’t remember the name of, but saved it somewhere online…... Read More in more depth previously on MakeUseOf.

Anesidora (Chrome)

music tools online

Anesidora is a Chrome extension that allows you to listen to your Pandora stations without having a tab open at all. You can simply log in with your Pandora account credentials and it will load all your stations for listening directly in your Chrome browser. It has created some controversy since there aren’t any ads that play through the extension, however according to the developer Listen To Pandora In Peace - No Ads, No Tabs [Chrome] Listen To Pandora In Peace - No Ads, No Tabs [Chrome] Yes. It’s possible! With a simple browser extension in Google Chrome, you can listen to Pandora without any ads or even having it open. How? Let me introduce you to Anesidora. So how does Anesidora... Read More , he doesn’t support the lack of ads in the extension:

Unfortunately due to Pandora using a closed API I have no choice in the matter. I offered to give Pandora ownership of my extension and they declined. They do this to themselves.

To find out more about Anesidora, refer to the MakeUseOf article Listen To Pandora In Peace - No Ads, No Tabs [Chrome] Listen To Pandora In Peace - No Ads, No Tabs [Chrome] Yes. It’s possible! With a simple browser extension in Google Chrome, you can listen to Pandora without any ads or even having it open. How? Let me introduce you to Anesidora. So how does Anesidora... Read More .

Exfm (Chrome, Firefox, Safari)

Exfm, a website and browser extension, is a tool that collects displays any audio files from the webpage you’re visiting. For example, let’s say you visit one of Tina’s Sound Sunday articles Your Free Music Fix: The Magnificent R&B Soul & Hip Hop Edition [Sound Sunday] Your Free Music Fix: The Magnificent R&B Soul & Hip Hop Edition [Sound Sunday] Read More . With Exfm installed, it will automatically pull the embedded audio files and allow you to play them, even after navigating away from the page.

Below is an image of what Exfm looks like on a webpage, notice the controls, queue and options to “favorite”, share and shuffle.

music tools online

Want to close that page? No worries – the tracks have already been saved in your queue. However, you now are able to control them through the Exfm button in the Chrome browser. For more info, check out our full review Exfm Provides An Incredibly Easy Way To Discover Music While Web Browsing [Web & iPhone] Exfm Provides An Incredibly Easy Way To Discover Music While Web Browsing [Web & iPhone] Read More .

music tools online

Last.fm Scrobbler (Facebook App)

The Last.fm Scrobbler Facebook app has been mentioned a couple different times. Probably the one you might remember the most was in the slightly sarcastic, but educational article from Craig about apps you can use to help Facebook invade your life 7 Apps That You Can Use To Help Facebook Invade Your Life 7 Apps That You Can Use To Help Facebook Invade Your Life I'm having a bit of a rough and uncomfortable week on Facebook. Are you one of those people who are lazy when it comes to signup forms, figuring "hey, I might as well connect to... Read More . As you might have guessed, the Last.fm Scrobbler app was one of them.

music web tools

If you’re playing with a program or service that doesn’t have the ability to post to Facebook, but does scrobble to Last.fm, you can use this as a workaround.

Sway.fm Unified Music Media Keys (Chrome)

Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of compatibility that websites have with your media keys on your keyboard? Instead of being able to just hit the Play/Pause, Previous or Next buttons, you have to go to the webpage and manually click the controls. Sway.fm Unified Music Media Keys takes care of that problem.

Previously, Justin has covered it here Unity Media Keys: Control Web-Based Music Services With Your Media Keys [Chrome] Unity Media Keys: Control Web-Based Music Services With Your Media Keys [Chrome] Use your computer's media keys to control Pandora, Google Music, Grooveshark or any other major online music player in Chrome – regardless of whether you're using Chrome right now or not. Whether you're a Mac... Read More and did an excellent job with a thorough review.

music web tools

One thing to note is that if you’re unable to install this in Chrome on Windows 8, it’s because there is a compatibility issue. To get around this, put Chrome in Windows 7 compatibility mode and the you’ll be able to install and use the extension.

Flutter (Windows, Mac, Chrome)

Would you believe me if I told you that you can control your media player with your hand? Yep, just like the Xbox Kinect. But this time, all you need is your webcam and three steady hand gestures.

Flutter works with iTunes, Spotify, Winamp, VLC and Windows Media Player on Windows and Mac. However, in addition to those local apps, Flutter can also control YouTube, Netflix, Grooveshark and Pandora via the Chrome extension.

music web tools

Flutter has actually been covered on MakeUseOf before, once by Simon Flutter Lets You Control Your Media Using Your Webcam Flutter Lets You Control Your Media Using Your Webcam We're always looking for new ways to control our electronics. Another trend—gestures and movement—can be found by looking at game consoles. Most notably, the Kinect of Microsoft's XBox. Lacking one of those fancy Kinect cameras,... Read More and another time by Dave Flutter Is Like Kinect For Your Computer's Webcam [Mac] Flutter Is Like Kinect For Your Computer's Webcam [Mac] Kinect may not be the best way to play games on an Xbox 360, in spite of the fact that some games for the platform are pretty good. However, one place Kinect does shine is... Read More , who went more in depth, gearing it towards Mac users (but the same applies to Windows users). I recommend you look into both of those articles for more information – it’s been an excellent app for me to use.

I now use it more than ever since owning my new, almost perfect laptop, which has one slight imperfection – no media keys (play/pause, forward, back).

Plus Music (Chrome)

Plus Music is a Chrome extension that focuses on discovering music and instantly playing it from anywhere on the web. For instance, if you’re reading about a new artist, you can simply click the icon, type in the artists name and listen to their music right in the extension. Plus Music has four standout features that integrate into Facebook:

  • Artist Recognition: it knows when you’re on an official band page and lets you listen with a single click.
  • Similar Artists: Suggests similar artists on Facebook.
  • Universal Remote: Control playback in the Facebook interface.
  • Easy Sharing: You can find and attach songs to share directly in Facebook without ever leaving.

Outside of the Facebook integration, Plus Music also has great searching capabilities, instant play through right clicking an artist’s name, and smart suggestions. It also can scrobble to Last.fm, share complete tracks – not just a clip and create a mix in the queue.

music listening tools

Conclusion

Now should you use all of these music listening tools together? Technically, none of them should interfere with each other, but I’m definitely an advocate of keeping extensions and apps down to a minimum. So let me ask you: which ones are your favorites?

Have you used any of these before? If not, which ones do you feel would fit best into your own lifestyle? If you have any other recommendations that I missed, feel free to share those in the comments below as well!

  1. Emily
    August 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    A lot of great options here. Don't see torch music though, which I've found to be the best streaming site so far.

    • Aaron C
      August 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion Emily — I hadn't heard of Torch Music. However, (and I may be wrong) but upon looking it up, it seems just like a website that you listen to music on, correct? This article was more so dedicated to tools that will help you listen to music ON websites, not about the websites themselves.

      Thanks again for the suggestion, and definitely correct me if I'm missing something about Torch Music.

  2. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    April 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    You might want to note which service works worldwide and which is not. Spotify sounded like a good idea...until I found it unavailable in my area.

    • Aaron Couch
      April 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      Lisa,

      I understand what you're saying, however the purpose of this article is to point you to tools you can use with those different music services (like Pandora, Grooveshark, 8tracks, etc.), not focusing on the music services themselves.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Stephen P
    April 22, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    have to remember these when i get my new computer!

  4. Victor Ong
    April 17, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Sadly, I cannot use flutter, as my desktop does not have a webcam, and using it on my netbook is simply too slow/unresponsive :(

  5. Matt
    April 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    These are some great ideas. I've never heard of most of them. I'm definitely going to check out songdrop. Have you ever used soundcloud? Some bands I follow upload their songs on there.

    • Aaron Couch
      April 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Hey Matt,

      Thanks for commenting. I have heard of SoundCloud and you're right, it's a great place for music. Many of these tools actually work WITH SoundCloud, which I feel increases its value, as well as many other music websites, even more.

  6. Michael Lavelle
    April 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Great selection of sites and tools. How about adding Cloudplaylists for creating playlists of SoundCloud tracks :-)

    • Aaron Couch
      April 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Michael,

      Oh that's a nice little website! Thanks for sharing with us and the other readers :)

      I probably won't go back and add more to this article, but if there's enough feedback of other services, apps and tools, and I find some more interesting ones, there potentially could be a sequel.

      Thanks for reading and sharing!

  7. Tushar Kalsara
    April 17, 2013 at 7:48 am

    nice work..

  8. Chris Marcoe
    April 17, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Nice info. Though, it seems a little heavy on the Chrome. And VERY light on the Firefox...

    • Aaron Couch
      April 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Chris,

      You are correct. Besides FoxyTunes, which doesn't seem to have been improved much in a while, there seems to be a lacking of great tools in the Firefox department. Do you have any suggestions for any Firefox addons?

      • Chris Marcoe
        April 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm

        I'm sorry, Aaron, I don't. I usually only listen to Playlist on the computer.

  9. Tushar Agarwal
    April 17, 2013 at 2:51 am

    You forgot 8tracks :)

    • Aaron Couch
      April 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      8Tracks is more of a website like Pandora, Grooveshark, Last.fm, etc. that these tools work WITH. It's in a different category altogether.

      Thanks for reading and sharing.

  10. Peter
    April 17, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I recently discovered Flutter and once I found the sweet spot, it's a great way to control my music! Love it

    • Aaron Couch
      April 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      I love it too Peter! Thanks for your comment!

  11. Pezhman Mozaffari
    April 17, 2013 at 12:39 am

    tnx for post

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