Summary:

There are many services enabling users to listen to music in the cloud, but Pandora and others have to contend with the delightful entities that are music labels. The site Tubeify is sparing itself that headache by not hosting content, instead indexing what’s already available online.

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When it comes to listening to music in the cloud, there are any number of services, but companies like Pandora are forced to contend with the delightful entities that are music labels. The site Tubeify is sparing itself that headache by not hosting content, but instead indexing what’s already available online.

Tubeify is purportedly invite-only but despite the warning message on the site when I requested my invite, I received it immediately. And then, with an iTunes-esque interface powered by a combination of Last.fm and YouTube, I was able to play pretty much any tune searchable on those services, creating playlists around songs or artists.

Thanks to Last.fm’s indexing, it’s hard to find a song that Tubeify doesn’t know about, though what you’re actually able to listen to is limited by whether or not a video featuring the song is available on YouTube. This means that there are some gaps, and that many of the songs aren’t the album originals (looking on the bright side, that makes Tubeify a great discovery tool for live and alternate versions). In addition, the Top Charts with Time Travel section borrows the interface for Apple’s Time Machine to allow users the ability to scan through music history, pulling up Billboard charts from as far back as 1964.

The system isn’t perfect right now — for example, when I tried to play Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, it pulled up the Key of Awesome parody of that song instead.

And while the option to switch to a different video exists, I was not able to pull up the official Vevo upload of Bad Romance, despite the fact that it is embeddable. We’ve reached out to Vevo and YouTube for comment, but this does seem to be proof that even a year later, Vevo is still pulling its music videos from the YouTube API.

This hurdle aside, though, my morning’s listening confirms this: Tubeify is a simple way to listen to the music you want to listen to, wherever you might be.

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