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This article was published on January 20, 2015

This Chrome extension turns YouTube into a serious music service

This Chrome extension turns YouTube into a serious music service
Owen Williams
Story by

Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

YouTube launched its music platform late last year to little fanfare, offering all you can eat music for $7.99/month on the site, with no ads.

While many of us use YouTube to listen to the occasional song, it’s no match for a real music service like Spotify or Google Music since it doesn’t offer background listening or the ability to search for songs without using the site.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 7.41.14 am

A new third-party Chrome extension called Streamus is changing that, however, turning the site into a legitimate music service that lives in a popup in your browser.

Streamus feels like something that Google itself should have built, but it’s actually built by someone who quit their job to work on the extension full-time. On Reddit, the creator says they’ve been working on it for over three years.

The extension is built with Google’s Material design language and allows you to search any song on YouTube right inside a popup, add it to a playlist and listen instantly without needing to have a YouTube tab open.

extension

The extension does far more than you might expect. For example, once you’ve created a playlist, you can share it with friends via a URL, like you might expect on a normal music service.

Streamus even offers a radio service, like Spotify or Pandora that automatically picks similar songs and plays them for you. For a Chrome extension, this is awesome.

You’re also able to queue up songs from around the web by just right clicking on them, which makes it easy to listen all day.

Having used Streamus for a few days now, I’d be pretty surprised if Google didn’t end up offering to acquire the extension; it’s simply that good.

Streamus doesn’t require a YouTube Music Key subscription to work; it works with plain old YouTube.

It’s a little disappointing that Google itself couldn’t deliver something this awesome when it launched YouTube Music Key, but this extension brings it to its full potential.

Streamus [Chrome Web Store]