Create A Playlist Of Your Favorite Music on YouTube with Loudlee

The last couple of years have really seen the online music scene explode. While Pandora has been around for a while, now we have Rdio, Spotify, MOG and probably a million others. The difference between these newer apps and the likes of Pandora is that the newer app really make listening to music a social experience. You can create playlists, share them with your friends, listen to your friends’ favorites and so on.

YouTube, while not considered a traditional music website, has a large number of tracks available for listening uploaded either by the artists themselves or by fans. Loudlee aims to bring all the music on YouTube together and adds it’s own special social sauce to the experience.

So how does Loudleee work ?

After you sign up for an account using your Facebook credentials, you’ll be directed to a page with the artists and bands that other people on Loudlee are listening to.

Hover your mouse over any of the albums that you see, and you’ll be presented with a choice to either queue the album to your playlist or play it right away.

You can also search for songs or artists from the Search bar in the top right corner of the page and from the search results, add a complete album or individual songs to your playlist.

When you have your playlist all sorted out, just hit play on the small video player that you see and your added songs will begin streaming right off YouTube. The video is a bonus!

You can use the social buttons right above the video player to share the current song with your friends and let them in on some of the awesomeness too.

Loudlee lets you keep a track of the music you’ve already listened and also lets you take a look at your friends and followers’ stats and the music they’re listening to.

As soon as you listen to a song, the artist is added to your profile and you can get back to it from your profile page. Your friends can also look at the songs you’ve been listening to  and add them to their playlists. This is an awesome way to discover new music and I love Loudlee for implementing this feature.

Loudlee doesn’t let you save your playlists (yet) but the creators of the site say they’re working on this feature. Apart from that, a suggestion engine is also in the works and would turn Loudlee into an even better source for new music.

As you can probably tell, I’m already a big fan of Loudlee and I think you should also check it out. You won’t be disappointed!

Image courtesy: Digital Trends

How To Listen To Turntable.fm And Pandora Outside The US

This past weekend, Turntable.fm decided to shut down access to their service to listeners outside the US. According to a notice on their site, Turntable cannot offer their service to visitors outside the US anymore due to “Licensing Restrictions”.

Turntable.fm is not the first web service to shut down access to non-US listeners. Pretty much every music service worth listening to, doesn’t let users outside the US listen in.

So, when I tried to login yesterday evening and found myself blocked, I decided to do something about it.

Turntable.fm and others figure out the country a visitor is from by geolocating the IP address of the visitor. This means that to use their services outside the US, all you have to do is make them believe that your IP address is from the US. Easier said than done, eh ?

Well, actually, it isn’t THAT difficult. There are a few different ways that you can spoof your IP address and one of them is by using the open source tools developed by the TorProject.

What is Tor ?

According to their website

Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.

Tor works by creating a relay of proxies around the world and directing traffic via them, thus making sure that anyone tracking your IP address will actually be seeing the IP address of the relay and not your real IP. By default, Tor redirects traffic via any available relay around the world. For our purpose, however, we’ll be configuring Tor to redirect traffic only via US based relays. But, for that, we need to install Tor first.

Installing Tor

The TorProject distributes binaries for Linux, Windows and OS X and the OS X binaries is what I used. Installation is as simple as can be using the wizard based installer for Windows and the .DMG app bundle for OS X.

Once you’ve installed Tor, although you can control it using the CLI but the smarter way of interacting with Tor is by using the bundled Vidalia control panel. On OS X, the application to launch is named TorBrowser and when you launch the application, it launches Vidalia which in turns launches the Tor daemon in the background and connects you to the Tor network.

Tor - Vidalia Control Panel

Configuring Firefox to use Tor for browsing

Tor runs as a non-caching proxy on your desktop and to use it you need to configure your browser to use Tor as a proxy. If you’re using Firefox, open the preferences pane and go to the Advanced tab and click the Settings button.

Firefox Network Settings

Now, select the Manual Proxy Configuration radio button and enter localhost as the HTTP proxy and 8118 as the port. To be safe, also tick the Use this proxy server for all protocols radio button.

Firefox Proxy Configuration

Firefox will now use the Tor network for all communication. The only problem is, like I said, Tor, by default, will use any random relay around the world for routing data. We want to make sure that our data is only routed via US based relays.

Configuring Tor to use US relays only

Back to the Vidalia control panel. Open the Settings pane and click the Advanced tab.

Edit torrc

Click the Edit current torrc button and add the following lines to the configuration file.

ExitNodes {us}
StrictExitNodes 1

Press the Ok button and Vidalia will instruct you to reload tor.

That’s it. From now onwards, whenever you browse using firefox, all your traffic will be routed via a US based Tor relay. Want proof ?

Pandora

Now, you can enjoy listening to Pandora and Turntable.fm wherever you are in the world. This same trick can also be used to access services that are only available in certain geographies such as the BBC iPlayer or Spotify.

Was this post helpful for you ? Have you ever wished you could access any blocked site from your country ? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

 

Grooveshark: Listen to unlimited music online for Free

Grooveshark - LogoStreaming music over the Internet has always been a legal gray area. Most streaming music sites tend to call themselves radio stations but the music industry thinks of them as independent media consumers and that is the reason that while radio stations get bulk deals for playing content, online streaming stations have to pay for each song streamed on a per user basis.

This, as you can imagine, doesn’t really bode well for sites that rely solely on advertising to cover their costs as advertising spots for all but the biggest sites are usually pretty low.

A lot of streaming sites have gone under trying to perfect a monetization strategy for online music and only a few have managed to survive. Among them Pandora is the most famous and while it is one of the few sites making any money, it is only accessible to people living the United States.

For people outside the US, Grooveshark is an excellent alternative to Pandora.

Continue reading “Grooveshark: Listen to unlimited music online for Free”

Create a playlist to suit your mood with PlayListNow

PlayListNow LogoOnline services that let the user create a playlist are dime-a-dozen on the web and most of them work the same way.

Think of an artist or a song and the service either suggests a ready-made playlist or lists songs that you can then add and make a custom playlist out of. If you like the song, pick it, or else move on to the next song on the list.

The problem with such services is that they’re all essentially asking the user to do the job. And that In the 21st century, is not acceptable !

The reason that the likes of Pandora, Spotify and last.fm are popular is because they work without any human intervention and still seem to play all the songs that the user would love.

What if there was a service that’d create a playlist for me without asking me to add songs to it ?

Enter PlayListNow.fm.

Continue reading “Create a playlist to suit your mood with PlayListNow”

Music search engine Fizy is seriously fast !

FizyFizy is a simple no frills search engine for finding songs and music videos. It does not let you download the music, nor does it offer a way to queue songs and form a playlist. All it does it find the music that you’re looking for and let you play it, one song at a time.

What is great about Fizy is the speed with which it gives results. Try it and you’ll know what I mean.

Fizy has a pretty vast index for a search engine this new. The folks behind Fizy claim that they index about 75 billion MP3 floating around the web and that is a pretty big number by any standards. In my tests, the results have been pretty decent and I’ve almost always found that one song that I’d been dying to listen to.

If there is a song that you’ve been humming all day and just want to listen to it once to satisfy your cravings, Fizy is perfect.