YouTube and Music

An odd thing happened to me on Saturday night. I was playing some music through the stereo via my laptop. Sophie started humming a tune that she wanted to hear and I thought I could recognise what it was. So I tried to find the track.

But instead of heading for the laptop I picked up my iPhone, and instead of going into iTunes I clicked on YouTube and searched for the video there. Within 5 seconds the track was playing.

I didn’t even think about what I was doing. It was a total autopilot first-reaction move.

But once I’d done it I thought about what had just happened.

I knew I had the track in my iTunes on my computer.


I also knew I had the track on vinyl in the loft (in a box).


And I knew I could probably find a version of it on or some other music site.

Jam & Spoon 2013 Stella 2013 Listen free at

But I instinctively knew that I’d find a full version of the track quickly and have it playing in seconds via YouTube, and by using my iPhone not my laptop I wouldn’t disturb what was playing. So that’s what I did.

Of course it’s not going to keep an audiophile happy. But I thought it was interesting that in the same way that IMDB is my goto for film YouTube has oddly become my goto for music (in that situation at least).

I just did it again with this amazing track (The Wanderer by Romanthony). I went straight to YouTube and nailed it. Then when I checked afterwards I couldn’t find a full version of it on And that’s what reminded me to write about it:

Anyone else finding themselves doing that, or is it just me?

17 thoughts on “YouTube and Music”

  1. youtube´s got the easy search and find thing down. it´s so open. and they benefit from that in other ways, like music, music videos, even music videos without the videos, just throw a couple of pics in there. i guess for youtube, you searching there is a perk of being multimedial.

  2. have you noticed the huge amount of tracks that are up there that aren’t even music videos? just up… with a still!

    IMDB used to be my goto for films, but increasingly I find Wikipedia easier to get through!

  3. It used to be, but now I head for so that I can listen and also ‘tweet’ why I wanted to find it in the first place…

    And I don’t have an iPhone :)

  4. Totally agree – my mum was over last night for dinner and was talking about an opera that she had been invited to. She didn’t know anything about the opera and again my first reaction was to go to YouTube so that we could listen to it. Afterwards tried other sites and none of them had the same content that You Tube did.

  5. I was at a friends house Saturday night. and we got chatting about the iPhone versus iTouch. So far so boring. In the background Henry Rollins’ “Liar” was playing on my friends iPod dock. I remembered the awesome video and since he is on a wireless broadband I looked it up on YouTube on my iTouch. I plugged my iTouch into his dock and hey presto – instant music “TV”. We played this game into the early morning hours: Who could come up with the most obscure music video. Daddy Cool by Boney M was pretty special.

  6. Iain,

    I do something very similar, too.

    Straight onto midomi on the iphone. Sing something that barely resembles it, then filter through the results. It usually comes up with the correct thing without too much trouble. I’d like to think this is an example of my singing quality instead of the quality of the software… but I’d be wrong.

    The long -term repurcussions of this will be interesting. How many times in the past were yuo sat around a pub table humming a song and banging the table shouting “arrrgghhh! What is it! aaarrggh!” In future generations these problems simply won’t exist. Whatever used to occupy our minds will be replaced with something else.

  7. you got any old punk records in those boxes you want rid of?

    get yourself some good shelves. looks like a record graveyard with them boxes lying around. did the same thing as you yesterday, but decided to play originals of that nouvelle vague lp, video djing, some might say.

    Lords of the new church, ha ha what a video!

  8. People who put tracks up without music videos is what keeps me going back to youtube for music, particularly Northern Soul records where some old white guy from up Norf just introduces the tracks and puts the needs to the vinyl and records.

    Also, the fact it recommends similar tunes. I had a So Solid/Kano/Roll Deep moment earlier…

  9. I spent some time with an 8 year old over the weekend. He can’t afford to buy any music. His mum doesn’t let him steal music. He just plays whatever he wants on YouTube. Sorted.

  10. Went back to a friends house after Carnival on Sunday and everyone had to take it in turn to find a classic track on Youtube to put on – it got a bit competitive (as you can imagine)…and the quality wasn’t great but it was fun! I’d not searched specifically for music on Youtube before, but had noticed a few of my friends doing this. It is quick and if you load lots of tracks up into different browser tabs you can even get a bit of dj action in there! :-)

  11. Yep I do that.

    And wikipedia is my goto for films. I just search Silence Of The Lambs wiki and it comes up trumps.

    Of course I don’t actually do that in the cinema whilst watching a film. No, no, I wouldn’t do that. Even if I really needed to know what was going on. Nope.

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