May 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Minilogs Lets You ‘Playlist The Web’

We’re on a quest for the best ways to collect music, which recently saw us examine Later.fm, an InstaPaper-style web app that makes music collection in these difficult times a little bit easier.

MinilogsMinilogs (free; web) was designed to solve the same problem of collecting music on the web, with a little more versatility. By clicking on a bookmarklet (as with Later.fm), using the Chrome extension, or entering a URL, the app lets you save songs and videos you’ve found on your web travels for future listening, so you don’t lose track of the stuff you like during your busy day.

To keep your findings (which can also include non-music things) organized, you can save music in different lists, or minilogs. An included media player lets you stream them; when you do, you can “like” your favorite songs or discard the ones you don’t actually like, which means Minilogs works for auditioning as well as collecting.

In a sense, this app reclaims the original meaning of the word “blog,” which was short for “weblog,” which basically meant “here’s a list of some cool stuff I saw on the web.” It’s like that, instead of being whatever blogs have become.

Minilogs goes a long way as a music collection app, because its URL adding feature lets you save music from a wide variety of sources: not only YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, but also tracks from streaming sources like Rdio or Spotify (just grab the HTTP link for the song), and those play right in your Minilog. However, some of these sources won’t play within the app after they’ve been collected; for example, you’ll need to follow Last.fm links to that site for the music to play.

This app worked great for collecting music on the web in our testing, but it also works with non-music stuff: eBooks, Google Maps, Wikipedia pages, and anything else on the open web.

Also, Minilogs goes beyond solo bookmarking with a social component that lets you publish playlists (as with Spotify) on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and you can even make the playlists collaborative, so friends can add to it. Of course, if you just want to use the bookmarking tool, you can ignore the extras and stick to the huntering and the gathering — which can include other users’ Minilogs.

When it comes to design, Minilogs can get a bit crowded, which might be because it works overtime, harvesting not only music but other stuff too, and then adding a social playlist sharing tool. A cleaner interface might potentially make the app feel more cohesive, while still retaining its comprehensive functionality.

Despite this minor quibble, Minilogs remains one of the best options for collecting music on the web so far, with several ways to collect, audition, enjoy, and share the music you find on the web.