Turn YouTube into a Personal Video Jukebox

On Friday you learned how to embed a YouTube video on a Web site. Today, let's look at another YouTube feature, this one designed for music lovers. It's called YouTube Disco - Music Discovery Project, and it's designed to serve up an endless supply of your favorite artists' tunes.

All you do is type in the name of a favorite song or artist, then click Disco. In a flash, YouTube creates a playlist based on that song or artist--the contents displayed in a scrolling thumbnail bar at the bottom of the screen. You can mouse over any song and click it to jump directly to it, or just let the playlist run in its regular order. You'll also notice controls (on the right side of the bar) to turn Autoplay on or off and enable or disable shuffle mode.

This is a great way to discover not only new music, but also new versions of your favorite songs. For example, I put Disco to work on Coldplay, and the first song it played was an extraordinary cover of "Viva La Vida" by a group of schoolkids.

You can use YouTube Disco as a kind of video jukebox, or just as a commercial-free alternative to services like Pandora and Slacker, streaming tunes in the background while you work. As I'm sure you can guess, the service is free.

(By the way, as you can see in the above screenshot, I'm a giant fan of Brendan Benson. Do yourself a favor and check him out!)

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums.

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