Do you watch and listen to music videos on YouTube a lot? Perhaps you should take a look at a JukeFly…
Are you the kind of person who goes to YouTube when they want to listen to a song? Be it for listening to something new, on a friends advice, or perhaps just to listen to a few songs you already like but don’t have your music with you. Well if that is the case then you should probably check out JukeFly.
I’m going to start with explaining what JukeFly aims to achieve and the fundamentals behind the service and then follow up with some screenshots of its interface with annotations as to what does what and where.
Jukebox aims to do one thing really well, make the music you want to listen to, available wherever you are. Ok sure there are plenty of other services which share this aim such as Spotify, my personal favorite Grooveshark, and indeed Windows Media Player now supports streaming to anywhere you can log into you Windows Live Account. However, one shouldn’t dismiss JukeFly off the bat as there are a couple of quirks which might make JukeFly a better choice for some users and here they are:
What JukeFly at the core does is pulls information directly from sites like YouTube which is specific to the single task of listening to music and/or watching music videos. Sites which it lists as sources include: Billboard, Amazon, and Last.fm although I imagine they are adding more sources all the time in order to keep their content as rich as possible. On top of this there is something called the “JukeFly Personal Music Service (JPMS)” which allows one to stream music have on your computer to anywhere with an internet connection. The whole service does have a “social platform” underneath it allowing for friends to browse and listen to each other’s playlists and such but I’m not going to cover that in this article as it isn’t any different from other “social platforms” put on other music streaming websites.
Anyway this is where I think JukeFly shines:
1.) Offers music which both you own on your computer AND all the music content available from a wide range of media sites all over the internet within ONE interface. This is obviously advantageous as long as the interface works well – which it does.
2.) Streaming music from your PC at home obviously requires your computer to be connected to the internet at home which isn’t always possible, and isn’t very efficient unless you have a way of starting your computer from over the internet, which honestly, isn’t easy to set up. JukeFly fixes this dilemma but outsourcing. When you run the JPMS on your computer it uploads your music collections information onto the JukeFly servers, things like the artist, album, release date, all the metadata. This allows JukeFly to organise and list your music collection on it’s site for you even if your computer at home is unavailable. If you then try to listen to it, it will find the song on one of it’s other services (and will in all likelihood find it) allowing you to listen to your personal music collection anyway. In short its like having your music library spread all over the internet, but still organised in a media player interface.
(Grooveshark offers something similar in that you can upload your music collection onto their servers, however that requires uploading the whole music file for each track (wholly data intensive and time consuming) which certainly isn’t for everyone.)
3.) Oh yeah, it’s completely free, no VIP accounts, no adverts between tracks, just pure music related content, unaltered, and delivered in a single interface from the web. You don’t even need an account if you don’t want to make playlists and things, works right away not questions asked.
Right so you understand the advantages that JukeFly has and think it could be for you, then take a look at the screenshots below to see some more about the service including some of its neat features:
(click the images to show a larger version)
This is what you are hit with when you open JukeFly for the first time – a splash screen of sorts with a search bar to quickly get started and a load of popular content. Clicking on browse will bring up an interface much like a lot of media players.
Looking at this interface you should feel reasonably comfortable with the left hand side showing currently “active” content and the right hand side being a more pictorial view of what you happen to be browsing at any particular time. On first opening up the application shows the top “Billboard Songs” which is basically just popular content which you can just click on and it will start to play on the left immediately.
At the top of the two sides of the screen there are drop down menus which allow you to tailor the content being shown. There is no shortage of content here. After all it is sourcing from a massive collection of media all over the net. Obviously you can search all of it with the search box in the top right!
As I briefly mentioned at the top there are two themes to JukeFly, those being light and dark. This is the dark theme. I personally prefer it as it feels less hard on the eyes and the blue links don’t stick out so much. All it all I think the dark theme makes the interface feel a little more streamlined.
This image shows a bit more detail as to what you can do in the player menus. You can see the currently playing video, in this case the content is being pulled from YouTube and the popular song of choice is “The Requiem by Linkin Park”. On the right of this image you can see the play queue which currently consists of the “A Thousand Suns Album”. There are also three tabs below the video which display lyrics, artist information, and associated videos. There is an option just under the video to choose the quality you would like to stream at and the green arrow takes the video full screen. It’s not bad if you are watching a music video considering YouTube has so much HD video now (as long as your connection can handle it).
Further options you can see are in the play queue list. When you mouse over a particular song a small icon shows allowing you to share that particular content to Facebook, Twitter, or just by email. The save link at the top allows you to save your current play queue as a playlist (if you have an account – once again this is free). Adding songs to playlists is also supported by drag and drop, possibly more intuitive for some.
Fundamentally I think that JukeFly deserves some attention and is certainly something I’ll use form time to time. It’s also worth noting that this service is still in BETA and therefore more features could easily be on the way, as well as increased stability and performance – nice to know!This is something I will seriously consider when my Grooveshark VIP runs out later this year. Do go over and have a look at JukeFly and post your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
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