Even though the new YouTube video page introduced some new useful options and a new look, other features were changed in rather unintuitive ways. One example I have complained about is ‘Add to queue’: in the old design it was very easy to add videos to the queue with a single click on a button; now that button has been replaced with a small menu with a single option… I don’t understand the logic behind such a change, unless more options are supposed to be added to that menu in the future.
A few days ago I discovered an alternative way to build playlists in the YouTube web interface. Some music videos now display a new bar under the video description box with a small music ♫ sign.
Clicking on the band name reveals a different way to watch the video. The main window splits into two sections: in the lower half the video in a down-sized player with the usual rating and sharing controls; the upper half displays a suggested playlist with similar music, generated automatically by YouTube. From here you can easily add videos to the queue on the left, remove items or reorder them by dragging and dropping. You can browse the ‘Suggested Artists’ or use the secondary search box to find entirely different music videos to add to the list. The original video keeps playing even while you search and build the playlist; it’s a big advantage compared to the usual search, that navigates you away from what you are watching.
I was intrigued by the ‘Disco’ label on the search button, so I did a little research; it turns out this is a new YouTube project, called ‘Music Discovery’. The featured music videos are not necessarily the best quality or from an official source. If fact, I have seen some cases where videos from these playlists were removed. The system probably relies on an algorithm to select music tracks automatically. I really like this new playlist editor, so let’s hope it will be extended to most music videos in the future.