Friday, April 20, 2007

FoxyTunes Planet

The Firefox extension FoxyTunes has been a big hit with Web-surfing music lovers ever since it was released a few years back. The add-on lets you control your favorite music player–iTunes, Winamp, QCD, foobar2000, or 20 more apps–directly from the Firefox browser. You can skip tracks, rewind, add songs to playlists, or adjust the volume, all without leaving the Firefox interface.

FoxyTunes for Firefox just updated from version 2.2.5 to version 2.9, and aside from support for TTPlayer and the eMusic download manager, the big addition is integration with the FoxyTunes Planet Web site (covered previously on FoxyTunes Planet is a music discovery site that collects videos, lyrics, photos, downloads, and other related material and presents them in a modular fashion to a customizable artist page. Widgets that can be included on that artist page include YouTube videos, Flickr photos, MP3 files from the Hype Machine, Google search results, and albums on

The FoxyTunes add-on now includes integration with the FoxyTunes Planet Web service.

Along with the usual buttons for controlling playback and managing playlists, the FoxyTunes add-on now includes a new “up arrow” button that will automatically search the FoxyTunes Planet site for the artist and song you’re listening to. Most of the widgets differentiate between related content for the specific song you’re listening to and related content for the artist itself.

One thing desperately missing from FoxyTunes Planet is a concert connection that lists all of the recent and upcoming performances by a musical act (such as that offered by the cool iTunes add-on iConcertCal), but as Josh Lowensohn mentions in the hands-on, FoxyTunes Planet “gets music discovery right.” Its simple design focuses on usability and content rather than eye candy, and customizing your widgets is as easy as Web 2.0 is supposed to be.

We’d normally expect a lot more functionality in a version revision from 2.2.5 to 2.9, but it’s clear that most of the work here was done on the FoxyTunes Planet site rather than the Firefox extension. The ability to leap from the player to the site is absolutely necessary, but it’s the rewarding content of the Web site that’s the real value of the 2.9 update.


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