YouTube is fantastic to listen to music quickly and for free. You know you’ll find the song you want, and you know you can get to it in a jiffy. But what if I told you there are browser extensions and websites that make the YouTube music listening experience even better?
A couple of extensions for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox speed up searching and even let you create playlists. On the web, there are some cool YouTube music players already, but I reckon our choice here is better than those.
Irrespective of which browser you use, just head to thepara.de for a YouTube music experience that is minimalistic, fast and easy. There’s a search bar to find songs, or you can browse the best of YouTube right now. This is quite a cool feature and not something most apps offer. You can browse by genre, top artists or top tracks. There are also a few curated playlists that you can start listening to immediately.
When you click any genre, The Parade will generate a list of songs, all of which are sourced from YouTube. Click the “+” icon next to a song to add it to your playlist, or add all songs together. The playlist on the left is as simple as it gets. Double-click a song to play, hit the trash can icon to delete it. You can toggle between five playlists at any time. There’s no built-in option to save them, but you can export a playlist; save it to cloud storage and retrieve it when you need. Yet another one of the creative uses of cloud services.
What I liked most about The Parade was the speed with which it got the results and let me start playing my music. There’s no sign-up, no pressure to make playlists or share things to social networks; as the tagline says, “Just Music. No Bullshit.”
Perhaps the quickest way to start playing YouTube music is FireTube, without a doubt one of the best Mozilla Firefox addons around. Why? Because FireTube makes itself a part of the toolbar and has a quick search box. Type your search, hit Enter and it will start playing the first result immediately. At the core of the YouTube music experience, that’s what you need, right? A place to search for a song and start playing it instantly.
There’s more to FireTube, of course. You can check out the other search results in a drop-down pane, add more songs with a drag-and-drop interface (it’s unintuitive and takes some getting used to), and eventually save the playlist. No special sign-up needed, as you can use your existing Google or Facebook accounts.
FireTube also has customizable keyboard shortcuts for play/pause, rewind and fast forward—the standard playback keys that are also a part of the toolbar. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to bring up the search box and I hope that’s added soon.
What I liked most about FireTube was that it showed me what’s playing at all times and let me search and add a song faster than anything I’ve used. Often, I’ll think “Oh hey, I’d like to listen to song X” but get too lazy to actually open a new tab, go to YouTube, search for it and play it. With FireTube skipping several steps, I’m actually listening to more music than I used to.
And here’s the bonus: it has a built-in music downloader, which also automatically converts the songs to MP3 and then saves them on your hard drive.
For Google Chrome users, this is definitely the best way to play YouTube music. In the in-depth review of Streamus, you will find most things you want to know about it. I talked about how it makes search simple, gives you various results and a way to make a playlist out of them. One of the best parts about Streamus is that you can set the quality of the video, so you can get HQ audio more easily.
But what I want to focus on here is the speed offered by Chrome’s omnibox integration in Streamus. The omnibox is a powerful tool already, and Streamus adds the option to search directly from that, with results presented in a drop-down list, complete with the track’s runtime. Use the arrow keys to select what you want, hit Enter to start playing. Until you actually use it, you won’t realise how awesome this feature is.
Do You Use YouTube For Music?
I’m torn about using YouTube as a streaming source, even though it’s readily available in browsers and cross-platform YouTube music tools like Atraci. I usually turn to dedicated streaming music services, but when it comes to search, my go-to choice is always YouTube. I never know if I’m going to find the song I want on those other music services, but it almost always shows up on YouTube. What’s your take on using YouTube as a streaming music service provider?
Image Credits: listening to music Via Shutterstock