When I’m looking for a particular song or band, I often visit YouTube first as it is almost 100% sure that someone has uploaded matching music videos to the video hosting site before. And while it is nice to use YouTube for that, I personally prefer desktop applications over Internet services. Maybe because I find it easier to control them while I’m using the browser for other tasks.
Freemake Music Box is a well thought out music player that takes advantage of the vast amount of music on today’s Internet. It seems to use YouTube exclusively for that, but I can’t say that with 100% certainty. All the songs that I tried were from YouTube.
When you first start the program you see a search form at the top, and an attached player with playlist attached to the left part of the program window.
To find music, enter a band name, artist, album or song into the search form and hit the enter key or click on the search button. The program populates the interface with results that reveal the band, album and song name, and the play time on first glance. You can click on the play button to play a song right away, or use the playlist button to add it to your playlist.
One interesting option that is available to you is to switch to the 200+ albums or artists listing instead. Say you have entered Nirvana into the search form. The initial search results have listed Nirvana songs only. If you switch to albums, you see the list of Nirvana albums, while artists will display Nirvana at the top, and below that cooperation with other bands or bands that also have Nirvana in the band name.
Especially the album listing is interesting, as you find all albums of the band listed here. You can either start to play an album right away, add it to your playlist, or click on it to see the song listing.
The program has a few shortcomings right now. Besides not revealing the music sources, it also ships without any options. It is for instance not possible to set a quality level for music, block certain tracks from appearing in the application, or to sync playlists between devices.
The developers have big plans for their application which will resolve some of the issues just mentioned. They plan to release iPad and Android versions, enable synchronization of music and playlists, add top music charts and create a web based version of the service.
All in all a great player for Windows users that could become a lot better in the future. The player requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0 to be installed on the system. The program is offered as a web-installer, and an offline installer.