Tubalr is simple.
It slaps a nice front-end on top of the YouTube API that lets you enter any artist name and click one of two buttons, like so:
The result: hassle-free artist radio that starts up quickly, and has the added bonus of showing videos. Tubalr plays music videos from YouTube, programming the channels using music intelligence from The Echo Nest (publisher of Evolver.fm) to figure out which songs to play for each artist, under each setting.
Developer Cody Jack Stewart says he has been working on this thing for about two years. But starting on Tuesday, Reddit exploded the app’s popularity, at least for now, upvoting Tubalr to number 8 on the front page. This is what happens when a music app gets tens of thousands of Reddit upvotes in a matter of days:
“Holy sh*t, I had to leave work, while on the train this exploded. I’m running into some API limits and have reached out to Echo Nest for some help. I’m limited to 500 request per minute, so bare with me :(”
So why did Tubalr blow up this week? We cannot pretend to know these things, but all we know for sure is that it works like a charm. Another may have been his headline… “It’s not Pandora, Spotify, or Rdio… but it’s something I’ve been making the past 2 years. What do you guys think?”
We caught up with Stewart for a brief interview to find out a little more about Tubalr (interviews edited for length and clarity).
Eliot Van Buskirk, Evolver.fm: Where did the idea for Tubalr come from?
Cody Jack Stewart, Tubalr: One day I was surfing Facebook and came across a really high-quality video of some band’s concert. That lead me to browser around on YouTube for more, and to my amazement, there where tons of music videos [it's true]. So I figured why not make a surface that just streams all of these videos back to back and while I’m at it remove some of YouTube clutter (comments, etc.).