Web app Tubalr lets you quickly and easily mine YouTube for music videos. Register with the site and you can also create custom, sharable playlists.
Matt ElliottSenior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
A small music app named Tubalr took off this week when its developer posted about his app on Reddit, asking simply, "It's not Pandora, Spotify, or Rdio... but it's something I've been making the past 2 years. What do you guys think?"
Three days and more than 2,500 comments later, a side project that earns no revenue suddenly has a bright future. According to Cody Jack Stewart, the man behind the app, Tubalr "makes searching YouTube for your favorite artists/bands simple and quick." After using Tubalr today, I would have to agree.
While you can create playlists using YouTube itself, Tubalr gets you to your tunes more quickly. It automatically queues up a playlist based on your search term, stripping out much of the clutter you encounter on YouTube. When one video ends, the next one begins. And if you register for an account, you can can create your own custom playlists and also tell Tubalr never to play a particularly dreadful song again.
When you first arrive at Tubalr, you'll see a search box and two buttons: Only and Similar. Enter a band or artist name and hit one of the two buttons and a YouTube player will appear below and begin playing a song based on your query. Below the player are links to the other videos it found. You can skip forward and back through the playlist Tubalr generated by using the Prev and Next buttons.
You can also search for multiple terms if you'd like to create a playlist on the fly that includes more than one artist (but without opening it up to similar artists). To multisearch, use a semicolon to separate your search terms and hit the Only button.
Sign up for an account and you can create custom playlists. After registering, an Add to Playlist pull-down menu gets added below the video player. Using the pull-down menu, you can create new playlists and add the current song to any existing playlists. You can access your playlists from the Your Playlists button at the top of the page. And grab the URL for your playlists page to share them or you can share the link for a particular playlist.
The other benefit of registering is that the Remove button permanently removes a song from a playlist Tubalr generated. Without registering, a song you don't like will show up the next time you search for that artist.