Tubeify (invites below) is a new mashup of Last.fm, Billboard and YouTube. The site allows users to search for, discover, play and queue video clips in any web browser.
The advanced search capabilities and outstanding usability makes it without a doubt one of the best YouTube jukeboxes around. One of the true gems is the Billboard “timetravel” feature, allowing users to pull up the Billboard chart for any week since 1964 and listen to the tracks that were leading the charts then.
Tubeify is an idea from Tomas Isdal, a University of Washington PhD student who TorrentFreak readers may remember from BitTorrent related research projects such as OneSwarm and the DMCA printer study. However, Tubeify is not a research project, but one that aims to turn YouTube into a decent music player.
“I came up with the idea roughly a year ago when YouTube signed an agreement with Time Warner, which meant that they now have license agreements with the “Big 4″ labels,” Tomas Isdal told TorrentFreak. “At the same time I noticed that I increasingly used YouTube for music listening, but that the YouTube interface really wasn’t what I wanted.”
Isdal told us that, among other things, he was annoyed by several issues on YouTube including the fact that videos stop when you search for another song, that many duplicate clips appear in the search results, and that the playlist has poor functionality. The upside, however, is that YouTube has a huge archive of music with many (un)licensed tracks.
So, Isdal took up the challenge to come up with a better YouTube player, with help from Billboard and Last.fm.
Tubeify in action
“In Tubeify I tried to make it feel more like a traditional desktop music player, think iTunes or Spotify, but still web-based so you can use it anywhere. Then I fixed the annoying parts of YouTube and added stuff that I always wanted in a music player,” he said. The result is a pretty useful mashup of Last.fm, Billboard and YouTube.
Tubeify’s searching is handled by the Last.fm api, and unlike on YouTube the current track will continue to play while searching. Search results are treated as “lazy playlists” which can be “pinned” to the sidebar for easy access later. Adding songs to playlists and the play queue is also pretty easy with full drag and drop support.
Another feature that beats most existing services is that it allows users to share playlists with friends. Playlist links can be shared anywhere – just paste the link on Twitter, Facebook or in an email and your friends will have instant access to it.
Time travel with Tubify
Another great feature of Tubeify are the top charts that are included, and the ability to pull up charts from previous years, all the way back to 1964. This functionality is powered by Billboard’s API and allows users check out, and play, what was topping the charts decades ago.
Although Tubeify is obviously not the best music listening experience there is, it is one of the only music video Jukeboxes that lets you search for and play millions of tracks instantly. If anything, it beats using the traditional YouTube interface.
Tubeify was kind enough to exclusively share an unlimited amount of invites for TorrentFreak users, that will be handed out for as long as the server holds up. You can get your invite here (should arrive in a few minutes), no strings attached. No user account or password is needed either, but Tubeify does require a Facebook or Google account, to allow users to login securely.