Image: Google Chrome Webstore
In August 2014, Google unveiled YouTube Music Key, the company’s much-maligned paid YouTube music streaming service. Thankfully, a clever developer named Sean Anderson has created a free and increasingly popular Google Chrome extension called Streamus, which turns YouTube into the powerful music streamer it really ought to be.
Anderson recently posted on Reddit explaining that he quit his job in July 2014 to work on Streamus full-time, and it’s clearly paid off.
Streamus takes all of the music on YouTube, and lets it live within a pop-up window in Chrome. It lets users search for songs on YouTube, which can then be streamed in the background. No more trawling through YouTube and having the song’s accompanying video (which is often just lyrics anyway) play in a tab which you must keep open as if your life depends on it.
Streamus has also been designed with Google’s new Material design language in mind, which makes it look as if the tech giant created the extension themselves. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if Google eventually acquired Streamus; it makes sense, and would make Anderson’s efforts well worth it. Either that, or they’ll try and shut it down.
Anderson, who admits to being a huge EDM fan, has clearly put his heart into the software. In his Reddit post he said, “Streamus does not make me any money. I actually lose a bit each month running the server. But… if you’re into music for the money then you’re in it for the wrong reasons.”
Streamus has some other cool features, including the ability to share playlists created in Streamus using a URL. The extension also has a radio-like service which automatically plays similar songs, if you want it to, with more new features to come.
YouTube Music Key remains an invite-only service in the US, UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Finland and Portugal. Once it is released more broadly, it will cost USD $9.99 per month, but will also give subscribers access to Google Play Music.
Streamus, on the other hand, currently costs USD$0.00, is open-source, and is available over at the Chrome Web Store. It does not require a YouTube Music Key subscription. For more information, visit the Streamus website.