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MySpace fans should give Qbox a try

Qbox has fixed whatever was causing its player to malfunction, and is now a solid tool for finding and playing music from MySpace and other sites.

A follow-up to my previous poston Qbox: they fixed whatever was preventing the player from playing songs embedded in MySpace pages, and I can now happily recommend it anybody who frequently listens to music on MySpace, Bebo, or YouTube.

As the Qplayer plays this Sigur Ros video from YouTube, I can conduct a search for a friend's band, and add songs from their MySpace to my playlist. The only drawback: search results appear in a separate window. Screenshot

A quick recap: the Qbox Web site lets you conduct searches for artists across MySpace, Bebo, and YouTube simultaneously. When results appear, you click a small play button on the Web page and the Qplayer launches and begins playing the song or video. You can conduct other searches and add them to your currently playing list, mixing audio and video in whatever order you like. The service is interesting because--like many younger music listeners--it makes no distinction between multiplatinum artists and your best friend's garage band. As long as they're on MySpace, Bebo, or YouTube, they're easily available from Qbox.

Qbox has the concept right, but the overall experience is a little more awkward than it could be--you can conduct searches from the player, but the results appear in a separate Web browser window. Then, when you select an option like "play" or "add to player" from the Web page in the browser, it adds the song back to the Qplayer playlist. I'm not sure why this back-and-forth has to exist, given that Qplayer is basically a modified Web browser--why not just display the search results window in a separate tab within the player? It also has an annoying habit of asking you if you're sure you want to close the player every time you try to shut it down--unnecessary dialog boxes are a pet peeve of mine. But I trust this is just a first iteration, and I'll be keeping track as they improve the service and the software.