Want to stream an automated playlist of the best music videos for free? Victoria-born Chartbrain has your back.
A solo project built by Canadian developer James Gagan—who was involved in the somewhat similar Songspin startup—Chartbrain’s premise is beautifully simple. First, select a music chart. There’s Billboard, Last.fm, Hype Machine, and more. Next, choose a countdown (from the bottom of the list up to the top song), a top 10 countdown, or a shuffle. You can also start with a specific song.
And that’s basically it. A music video pulled from YouTube starts playing, and automatically starts playing the next video after the first is done. Hate the song? You can manually skip tracks if you want. Loved the last song? You can go back and replay it. Really love a song? You can add it to your favourites.
And all of this is free—in fact, even creating an account is optional. This is what I loved about Songspin, and this is what I love about Chartbrain.
“I don’t think anyone is doing this,” James explains to me. “It’s a great way to stay on top of the latest charts.” He says he plans to add more charts over time, as well as eventually add historical chart information.
YouTubers will appreciate the sleek, minimalist design aesthetic James applies to the site: you don’t have the clutter of unrelated “related” videos and the thosuands of spammy comments that Google’s video streaming site is notorious for. “To me, it makes music videos enjoyable again,” James says.
Unfortunately, Songspin didn’t see the adoption his team was hoping to see, and they largely moved onto other things. But maybe that’s a good thing. Chartbrain feels like a superior evolution of Chartbrain, and it might not have come about if Songspin hadn’t floundered.