A schoolboy and his father have unleashed software that lets people listen to YouTube's vast collection of music videos as if it were a private collection.
Muziic software created by 15-year-old David Nelson enables computers to mine YouTube's rich database of songs and play customized lists of tunes free of charge.
"The Muziic player is a pretty cool little thing," said analyst Matt Rosoff of technology industry tracking firm Directions On Microsoft.
Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 in a 1.65 billion-dollar stock deal, says the Muziic service has only recently caught its eye and that it is checking whether it conforms to the YouTube terms of service.
Google has been trying to develop ways to make money off of YouTube and that goal could be undermined by a Muziic Player that lets users tap into the video-sharing website's music while avoiding advertisements.
"Hopefully, they will work something out," Rosoff said of Muziic and YouTube. "Muziic is analogous to a subscription music service, but it's free."
Nelson and his father, Mark, launched the self-funded Internet enterprise this year and bill it as the first "YouTube for music."
David Nelson is Muziic's chief technology officer, having switched from public school to taking online high school classes from home in order to devote more time to the website and the player software, according to his father.
Muziic Player takes advantage of Content ID software that YouTube built into the video-sharing website to enable owners of music to more easily locate copyrighted works.
Muziic servers crashed for an hour on one day last week due to an overwhelming amount of Internet traffic to the nascent website.
"We served thousands of downloads of the Muziic Player and Encoder in just a few hours!" a message about the incident on the website's blog said.
"We?ve expected and anticipated extreme growth in our website and application ... However, within less than a week of our 'unofficial' launch, we have been -- over abundantly -- blessed with huge amounts of traffic!"
Muziic said it had to add another computer server to handle the load for requests for the media player.
(c) 2009 AFP