YouTube is not only about crazy videos going viral. It’s also a huge archive of videos of the musical kind. From garage bands to the platinum artists, you will find them there. I don’t know whether you have the feeling (or not) that watching music videos is not exactly the same thing as listening to them. Sometimes you just like to be left alone with the tunes. That’s where TubeRudio.fm starts playing.
The makers of this Internet music player have perhaps got the right note when they describe it as iTunes meets YouTube meets Spotify.
TubeRadio.fm is YouTube at its core with the look of iTunes. And functionally it offers the streaming access to millions of songs like Spotify. It’s better as an alternative because Spotify is not available in a lot of countries including my own. The free web app has Last.fm behind it.
We have many online jukeboxes and we can always go to YouTube and “˜listen’ to the tracks”¦
So Where Exactly Should We Put TubeRadio.fm?
TubeRadio.fm wraps it all up and comes out as a slick dedicated Internet music player for YouTube. But the power of the web app is not merely playing the music but it’s in the way it lets you find and organize the music videos. Search for your favorite artist or band and add the track to your custom playlist. From just this single search, you can get all their available albums and build a complete playlist with a couple of clicks. And another click can take you to Amazon if you desire to purchase the albums. The whole process takes seamless seconds.
Let’s Build Our First Playlist
Let’s dive in (with a free registration) and see if TubeRadio.fm can walk the talk. Let’s build a playlist with some tracks of a favorite band of mine.
- The first snapshot is of the TubeRadio.fm interface. The iTunes like interface should be intuitive enough for a music lover.
- Start by searching for your favorite artist or band using the YouTube/TubeRadio.fm search field. The search yields a lots of tracks and you can mouse over them to see thumbnail previews of the videos.
- You can click on any of the video tracks to listen to the track or watch it in the YouTube player at the bottom half of the screen. Or better you can make yourself a playlist. Making a playlist is simple ““ give a name in the new playlist box and click Add. Playlists can be renamed, moved up or down, deleted and shared.
- To build the playlist, you can individually add the singles by clicking on the Add to Playlist button next to the track. But if you want to really build up the playlist go for the Discography tab. The Discography search gets you the entire catalogue of albums released that’s available on YouTube. You just need to click and select the albums you want and then click the little plus which says Add Albums to Playlist. From the little box which pops up, you can build a new playlist or add it to the existing ones.
- The videos get processed into your playlist and a notification pops up with the status.
You can get into your playlist and fine tune it (Edit, Delete, and Find Replacement) by clicking the little gear icon next to each track. Your own playlists (My Playlists) are searchable from the search box on top.
The Shared Feeling
These days no web app is complete without a community. TubeRadio.fm lets you share public playlists. Enter the name of the band and click on Public Playlists. Click on it to see the tracks and click on the Subscribe button to bring it under your Shared Playlists. Shared playlists also get updated across the board if there are any changes to it. Unsubscribing from one also takes just a click. You can also rate the shared playlist by giving it stars.
What about the Player Itself?
If it’s the visual experience you want, you will be disappointed because the YouTube video player gets the shrinking treatment. It takes up very little space at the bottom of the browser. TubeRadio.fm is more about listening rather than watching. Of course, you can click on that little video and open it up in all its YouTube glory in a separate browser window. What I liked though was the extra information (Lyrics, Bio, Similar bands, Releases) that’s available with a click.
The track management features are simple. You can sort the tracks by clicking on the columns or custom sort them to play in definite order or just keep them shuffled. You can move the videos around between playlists and edit video information by clicking on the gear icon. Don’t like the video; then just replace it with another one from the same gear icon.
The Final Note
TubeRadio.fm is a wonderful attempt to bring all of YouTube’s musical goodies under one interface. It’s smooth and not difficult to navigate. For iTunes users it will be easier still because of the similar looking interface. The video player does not get much prominence but then it was supposed to be about the audio in the video anyways.
The only problem that might raise its head is with the quality of audios themselves. Not all YouTube videos have high bitrates. Bitrates in the region of 128kbps should be good for casual listening. Little things like the high definition tag on the playlist videos and YouTube star ratings for the videos would have made selection and sorting easier. But that’s minor bellyaching when the web app has the other nice things on offer.
Play TubeRadio.fm and let us know if this Internet music player struck the right chords with you.
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