Organize your online music with ExtensionFM

On Friday I installed ExtensionFM– a chrome extension that helps you manage your online music listening.  Dan Kantor, the creator,  has a little video that shows you how it works:

The idea behind ExtensionFM is very simple.  When I visit a site that has music ExtensionFM notices and squirrels away all of the links to the music into an iTunes like player:

It does all of this work in the background without me having to do anything. After a weekend of browsing, ExtensionFM found music on 20 sites from over 300 artists, over 400 albums – for a total of over 1,000 tracks.  ExtensionFM remembers the sites where the music  was from and keeps track of when the links die. Note that it doesn’t actually copy music onto your computer, ExtensionFM just makes it easier to play music that is already out there.

There are many nice touches in ExtensioFM.  It keeps a play queue, and when you visit a music site you can easily add music to the queue.

You can edit the play queue easily adding and removing tracks from it.

ExtensionFM also augments a music laden site with music player buttons. So a site that looks like this:

is transformed into something like this:

Dan Kantor says he’ll be adding an option soon that will allow the disabling of this re-formatting for those who don’t like their web pages tampered with.

Unfortunately, ExtensionFM doesn’t always find music on a web page. Certain sites (Hype Machine for example)  doesn’t expose Mp3 links so ExtensionFM can’t find the music.  Dan says that right now ExtensionFM only grabs links that end in .mp3 or .ogg. It also works on Tumblr since they offer a very easy API to get a user’s audio posts. It is going to support Soundcloud embeds soon as well since they also offer an easy API. So the best way for developers to make sure their songs work with ExtensionFM is to make sure that the audio links are exposed in the html or to use Tumblr, or Soundcloud.

ExtensionFM is still in pre-release mode, but if you are lucky enough to get a release code, get the app, install it (it’s very easy to install), and start organizing your online music listening.

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  1. #1 by Dan Kantor on February 21, 2010 - 8:51 pm

    Thanks for the great writeup Paul!

  2. #2 by gavin on February 22, 2010 - 12:28 am

    Loving it too! Spent all weekend visiting music sites just to see what ExtensionFM would find…. So easy to grow your queue. Worried about finding things in the future now; maybe a possible feature direction?

  3. #3 by Dan Kantor on February 22, 2010 - 10:58 am

    @gavin – what do you mean by “finding things in the future now”?

  4. #4 by Paul on February 22, 2010 - 12:35 pm

    Dan – perhaps Gavin means that he’s wondering what happens when the music at the end of the URL goes away. One day he has a track and the next day he doesn’t. Gavin, is that what you are talking about ?

  5. #5 by gavin on February 22, 2010 - 12:52 pm

    @dan, @paul a little bit of both.

    How do I know a track isn’t available anymore?

    And, once I’ve collected this huge queue of tunes, how do I manage it beyond site/album/artist? Granted these are both problems I face with iTunes. But with iTunes you get some workarounds:playlists for extra organization help.

    I love that I can look at my ExtensionFM Artists list and not recognize most of the names but that’ll also work against me as far as recall, etc. go.

    Regardless Chrome/ExtensionFM was the first thing I started this morning. Thanks.

  6. #6 by Dan Kantor on February 22, 2010 - 1:20 pm

    A track not being available anymore is slightly tricky b/c some links go down and then come back up. In the library view there is a field called ‘Load Fail’ which keeps a counter of how many times a track didn’t load. You could sort by that and delete tracks that have a high count.

    Going to add a way to Star tracks soon. Other than playlists and stars, are there any other ways to manage?

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