With a new test page at YouTube’s TestTube labs, the online video site could be looking at improving related music video results while also allowing its users to create playlists of the videos they enjoy. The creatively named “YouTube Music Discovery Project and Playlist Creation Tool,” which can be found at www.youtube.com/disco, promises a way for users to “Find>Mix>Watch” music videos hosted on the site.
Once the user has picked an artist or song, a mini YouTube player pops up, along with a listing of related music videos and biographical information for the artist. Users can delete videos from the playlist that is created for them, as well as add videos from related artists to the mix. The project takes advantage of content from music video joint venture Vevo, which YouTube provides hosting and video delivery for, but it also brings in a good amount of content from independent artists and recording labels.
The new music discovery project could be a good first step for YouTube to understand how its users interact with music videos, but so far it has some serious limitations. For one thing, the project doesn’t break a whole lot of new ground, with similar offerings already available from Songza and Tuberadio.fm. Perhaps more importantly, for users that are used to a mix of results given to them by more mature music discovery engines — like Pandora or Last.fm, for instance — the results from the YouTube project will probably be disappointing. The mix of related artists isn’t as varied or diverse as a serious music fan would like, and the playlists that it generates tend to incorporate a lot of videos from the original searched-for artist.