I have to admit, I’m a sucker for context. I can get lost in Wikipedia articles for hours and I read just about every artist bio that comes up on Spotify, even if I already know the stories. For those of you who are like me, I have a plugin that you’ll want to grab.
It’s called ContexTube for Google Chrome and it’s built on a platform called Seevl. Essentially, as you’re watching YouTube videos, you’ll get a sidebar on the right that will pull in information about the band or group that you’re watching.
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What’s interesting about the plugin is that it’s not static. In fact, the information that it provides is meant to be explored more deeply:
In order to make the discovery of new music as smart as possible, we provide two ways to get recommendations. The first one is a simple “suggested videos” tab, that provides videos for the top-10 recommendation for the artist you’re browsing, based on our algorithm.
The second way is through the fact-sheet. By clicking on any fact, you’ll get a list of videos with artist / bands matching the same criteria, whether it is artist(s)/band(s) playing the same genre, from the same city, or having common members.
Of course, as is true with any plugin that pulls publicly-listed information, it’s only going to be as good as its sources. While many of the bands that I tried which were more mainstream had a wealth of information (as with Van Halen, above) some of the more obscure bands and genres either pulled up minimal information, or didn’t display any results at all.
In short, it’s great when it works and should only get better as time goes on. I’ll be keeping it installed as it’s a lightweight way to learn more and read more while I’m listening to music on YouTube.