While we’re all practicing social distancing and spending more time alone to combat the spread of COVID-19, digital hangout solutions are going to become more important to our interactions than ever before. FaceTime and phone calls can only go so far, though, and Zoom reminds us too much of work. What if you and a friend want to watch Netflix together, or binge your way through RuPaul's Drag Race on Hulu? Or listen to the new Lady Gaga album when it drops next month?
JQBX is a social listening platform that lets you listen to music in real time with anyone anywhere. You can also chat, vote, and save tracks that other people have played. JQBX uses the Spotify as the backbone for all this so you need a Spotify Premium account to use the app. Happy to field any technical questions anyone has. The latest tweets from @jqbxfm.
A quick Google search turns up plenty of options — but parsing which is best for your situation can be time-consuming and frustrating. So we did the heavy lifting for you. Check out our guide to the best co-streaming services available for any situation.
For watching just about anything together: Kast
Kast is relatively new to the scene, but it’s the most versatile distance-streaming option you’ll find. You and your friends will need to dedicate a few minutes to app set-up, but once you’ve done so you’ll never need to again. Just create a “party” and invite your friends to join. Anyone in the party can then choose a broadcast option: webcam video, a Netflix or Hulu window, or even a movie you rented. Kast will stream any of your windows to the party, which means you can stream games, too. While the video plays you can chat via microphone or text chat — all in the same window.
Download Kast here.Available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
For watching YouTube with minimal setup: TwoSeven
TwoSeven is not the prettiest application on this list, but it’s probably the easiest to use. Just create a login, invite a friend or two, and paste a YouTube URL to stream. TwoSeven gives you the option of using text-based chat or connecting your mic and webcam to hang out while you watch your music videos and Bon Appetit series.
TwoSeven’s team updates the app consistently, which isn’t something I can say for every minimalist option out there. If you really enjoy using it, there’s also a TwoSeven Chrome extension that can be used to watch Netflix, HBO, Amazon, or Vimeo with other people.
For streaming music together: JQBX
If you and your friend both have Spotify Premium, it doesn’t get much better than JQBX (that’s pronounced like “jukebox,” by the way.) JQBX operates via “rooms” that anyone can join with a link. Each person in the room has the option to play DJ and create a queue — and then JQBX takes care of the rest. You’ll each hear the same song at the same time, give or take a second of lag. JQBX even syncs with your existing Spotify playlists.
JQBX is web-based (with a mobile app), so it’s compatible with just about any operating system you can think of. You can even stream it through your smart speakers. There’s also built-in chat functionality. You can favorite a room and jump back in with your friends at any time.
If all else fails: split-screen all the way
Maybe none of these apps are working for you today — take a few long breaths and open your favorite calling app. (Just not FaceTime, which turns the volume down on any other applications you're using). Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts are two reliable, accessible options. Turn on your webcam, if you want. Open a second browser window with your video; re-size it to fit half or three-quarters of the screen. Once you and your friend are ready, count down from three and hit play. It's not perfect, but it works in a cinch.
No one's quite sure how long we'll be hunkering down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the White House isn't being especially reassuring. So maybe it's time to binge The West Wing again, with or without our besties, because its cliffhangers are far better for our anxiety levels than those real-life politics is serving up right now.
Listen To Music Together App
MANAGE YOUR JQBX ROOM
& SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS
Updated: Monday 14th Mar 2020 @ 11:40
• Be your own DJ in a Bot driven ROOM with JQBX (Jukebox), share and discover music with others in real time.
• JQBX integrates with your Spotify Premium music library.
• Run JQBX from a laptop or Android device and drive Spotify playback through your Hifi.
• Display amazing ‘trippy’ visuals that interact with the music by way of Winamp’s Milkdrop visualiser plugin on your monitor or TV.
• Curate playlists and ‘Mix-tapes’ of music for your ROOM using Spotify’s ‘Smarter Playlists’ and other free management tools.
Is a music streaming website, created by NYC entrepreneur Jason Zigelbaum and allows Spotify Premium users to listen to music, chat, and vote on the currently playing track in real-time with anyone anywhere. Share being a virtual DJ, and discover new music while listening to other users favorites.
The Room Details & Help Pages provide graphics and detailed explanation of all of the cool features available.
ROOM DETAILS & HELP – https://www.jqbx.fm/help#room
CREATE A ROOM ON JQBX – https://www.jqbx.fm
USER GUIDE – https://www.jqbx.fm/guide
REQUEST A BOT FOR YOUR ROOM – Google Form
BOT GIT HUB – https://github.com/mcicoria/jqbx-bot-plugins
BOT COMMANDS REFERENCE – https://github.com/mcicoria/jqbx-bot-plugins/blob/master/README.md
COMMON BOT COMMANDS
/help – Lists all current Bot commands and options.
/update – Updates the Bot plugins to the latest versions.
/welcome – Welcome message that gets seen by users on entry to a room.
/welcome Welcome to [YOUR ROOM NAME] – Be polite and have fun ❤.
/welcome off – Removes the welcome message.
/auto-artist – Toggle automatic artist info for each playing track.
/auto-first – Toggle info about each playing track for JQBX.
/auto-best – Toggle play count, vote tots in rooms for each playing track for JQBX.
/auto-best-gif – Toggle…??
/stats – Link to Last FM stats. [Bot provides a URL link].
/weather – Display the weather. Usage: /weather [city name]
/config set name [botname]
/up – The Bot will start DJ-ing – (NOTE: Bot will not go ‘up’ if queue is empty).
/down – The Bot will stop DJ-ing.
/ro – Rock out, if your track gets 3, then Bot will add an extra thumb up (DOPE).
/queue – See what the Bot’s next 10 tracks will be.
/queue build – Add tracks to the Bot’s queue.
/queue clear – Clear the tracks in the Bot’s queue.
/queue shuffle – Shuffle the Bot’s queue.
/queue help – Learn how the Bot’s queue is generated, (auto-seeding).
/w @username – Chat in Private in a room.
/you-here @username – Gets last action information for a user in the room.
The Bot queue uses the Spotify recommendations API that takes 5 seed tracks.
The seed tracks are obtained from:-
1). The current track or last played track.
2). The top 3 tracks from the last 20.
3). The top track from the last 100.
Track rank is calculated by: upvotes-downvotes + 1.4*(stars-downvotes).
If there is not enough room history, the configured genres will be used as seeds.
LOAD A BOT QUEUE WITH A SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
Bot must be DJ-ing, if not, use the /up Bot command to start.
Bot queue can hold a max of 100 tracks.
(even if playlist contains a greater number, only 100 will be loaded).
/queue set spotify:user:[SPOTIFY ID]:playlist:[PLAYLIST URI]
The PLAYLIST URI can be found from the Spotify Playlist using the Windows desktop App version by:-
Clicking on a Spotify Playlist > More (the three dot menu next to PLAY button) > Share > Copy Spotify URI
PLAY GIF IN THE MESSAGE BOX – (EXAMPLES)
/gif heavy metal metallica
/gif robot dance
/giphy rock band
/giphy festival crowd
(or copy & paste the full path or URL from Google images, or a gif website:-
https://giphy.com https://tenor.com http://gfycat.com https://gifer.com
RUN TV MODE
The Bot generates a URL link to a GIFTV page, (for viewing in your browser), for the Now Playing track, and displays relevant snippets of information in POP-UPS about the band, with background images, and a mix of related gifs.
Also displays your room title and the current DJ name.
I can’t remember the last time, if ever, that I played all the tracks from an album, LP record or CD in one session.
I much prefer to hear a mix of tracks from different albums, artists and genres, and that’s not just me, so it’s probably why the ‘mix-tape’ was born and why it was used by so many who loved music on the move during those 70’s Sony Walkman and music cassette tape days.
SHUFFLING PLAYLISTS WITH SPOTIFY
If you’re happy to just shuffle your music library, you may find that the selections offered appear not be very random, and too often will repeat the same group of tracks, and it seems like some tracks never get played at all.
If you’re not happy with the situation, and are looking for a way to curate your own Playlists or ‘Mixtapes’ then you could try one of the many great and FREE Playlist Management Tools.
FREE SPOTIFY PLAYLIST MANAGEMENT TOOLS
SHOW CURRENT SPOTIFY PLAYING TRACK & HISTORY – http://static.echonest.com/NowPlayingOnSpotify/#
ORGANISE YOUR MUSIC
RANDOMISE SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS
TRACK DETALS & VISUALISER
PLAYLIST TOOLS & VISUALISER
CREATING SMARTER PLAYLISTS
One of the best of the playlist managers that I recently discovered, but has been around for a few years, is Smarter Playlists, a FREE web based tool, and the brain child of @Plamere who works at Spotify Labs and has produced lots of useful and fun playlist managers. No coding experience is required to use them!
1. JQBX website: http://www.thebestagency.com
2. Original concept: Entrepreneur Jason Zigelbaum
3. Tech.Co News: https://tech.co/news/streaming-music-friends-jqbx-2017-07
JFDI & DaftJoe Enterprises Design Studios © 1999 – 2020Permanent eraser.