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Muziic 2.0 adds radio, MP3 playback, more

It's a solid update to a great, free music application that enables users to access the millions of songs on YouTube.

Teenage developer David Nelson has been busy since launching Muziic, which lets users access the millions of songs on YouTube from a convenient Windows desktop application that recalls iTunes. The fledgling company managed to gain approval from YouTube by changing the size of the video display and making other user interface changes. Since then, Nelson has been working on version 2.0 of the application, which became available Thursday.

The most notable features are the addition of some Internet radio stations organized by category, and the ability to play MP3 and Windows Media Audio files stored on your hard drive. (It doesn't seem to support AAC files. Judging from the video "visualization" that appears when you play a local file, I think he basically customized a version of the Windows Media Player, which won't support AAC until Windows 7.) There's also a text-chat function, automatic posting of the currently playing song to your Twitter feed, and the ability to save playlists to your hard drive. The user interface has been improved as well, making much better use of available screen real estate.

Muziic 2.0 includes online radio.

But the main draw of Muziic is still the incredible amount of material that's available through YouTube. You might not find all the studio recordings you'd get through a subscription service like Rhapsody, but I've found no better single source for live recordings and interviews. A single search can keep you going for hours--I've got days' worth of Charlie Mingus sessions right here in front of me, all of which showed up with a single search on the jazz composer's last name. All in all, this is a fine update to a very useful free download for Windows users.