Monday, October 02, 2006

Music to Watch

YouTube has revolutionized the way I waste time. I can find the rarest video clips after minimal searching.

For instance, is your life incomplete without seeing the video of The Pretty Things (and their goat) singing Come See Me? It's here. The rare "full make up version" of The Rolling Stones' Jumpin' Jack Flash is there too.

Not only do you get videos, but the viewers' comments are a joy to read. Some go for MST3K material and others are informative. One, writing about JJF, above, says "you can hear 2 electric guitars, a fat humbucker sound that must be Keef's Gibson and a thin, bright Fender Telecaster that must be Brian… " All this and educational too.

YouTube can be hard to navigate. Searching a video site for an ambiguous term like "Pretty Things" could pull up some strange results. The trick I use is to find a user who is interested in the same things I am and subscribe to his/her videos. Searching within that list will pull up other things I'm interested in, and once I've clicked on one, a list of related videos displays to the right of the one I'm watching. If you click on the Pretty Things link above, it currently pulls up six more Pretty Things videos. You can also find users of like mind by choosing a comment and clicking on the commenter's name. He or she may be an uploader or have promising favorites to look at.

This is where the Time Sink aspect of YouTube comes in. Every vid you watch gives another list – up to thousands – of related links. Videos, despite much improved technology, still run in real-time. If it's a five minute song, it takes five minutes to watch. If you watch twelve (and it's hardly possible to watch fewer in a sitting, in my opinion), there goes an hour.

Once you've found them, to prevent them escaping again, click on "save to favorites" and that puts them in your account. You can put together playlists that will play in a programmed sequence. (Despite the name, this doesn't save the video to your hard disk. You need to have a fast internet connection whenever you're using YouTube.)

YouTube is at

PS – I am not an employee of YouTube and they didn't pay me to say any of this.

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