Tubeify is a new "web 2.0" service that is a combines several music related services into a useful online music experience. It is still missing a couple of features in my opinion, but it appears to still be in Beta as you have to have an invite to join, so I expect more features to be added later.
Don’t worry, getting an invite is extremely simple and I will explain how later; first though, I want to explain what Tubeify is and why you need to try it. Tubeify combines YouTube, Last.fm, and Billboard to provide an extensive catalog on searchable music. When you first start Tubeify, it loads the "Popular in the country name" list so that you can see what is currently being hot in your region. Below this is a link titled "Top Charts with Time Travel". This is – in my opinion – one of the most useful features of the web application; it enables you to find the top 100 songs from Billboard for several months from each year going back to 1964. There are also charts for several specific genres of music such as Country and Rap.
Besides the charts, there is also a full-featured search box. To search for an artist, type "artist:artist name". Similarly, the keyword for album is "album", and for song is "song". When the songs matching your criteria come up, there is a wealth of information pulled from Last.fm. Besides the obvious song name, artist name, and album name, the average rating, length of the track, and a link to buy the song from Amazon are all present.
The video for most of the returned tracks can be played in the area in the lower left corner of the application by double-clicking on the song name. And, just as if you were actually on YouTube’s site (where the videos are streamed from), you can make the video full-screen.
The next song in the list will automatically play, so you can use this for background music, instead of using it to watch a specific video and then searching for something else. To facilitate with using Tubeify as a music player, the designers even allow for the creation of playlists. And, since this is an web application, your playlists will be available wherever you have an Internet connection.
To request an invite, just go to Tubeify’s invitaion page. Feel free to go off and request your invite before reading my complaints below. I’ll still be here.
First off, the service allows "liking" a song on Facebook or tweeting a song, but – even though it clearly accesses YouTube and Last.fm – you cannot add a video to your YouTube favorites, or Scrobble it to Last.fm. I think that the latter is a severe lack as I would use this service much more often if I could record my listening statistics from it.
At least as far I as can tell, there is no method to search by genre. There also does not appear to be any way for the service to play music based upon your listening habits.
If there was tighter integration with Last.fm, listening statistics could be saved, and customized playlists could be automatically generated for individual users. As I said previously though, from the fact that the service still requires an invite, it appears that it may still be in Beta which means that other features may be in the works.
So far though, Tubeify has a lot going for it. It is extremely stable and runs on every platform with a web browser that I have tried it on so far without problems. It loads extremely quickly even though it has to pull data from numerous external sources. The interface is easy to navigate and feels like most desktop music players (think iTunes or Banshee). And, it offers the ability to listen to an entire music chart from any year for the last 45 years.