Dizzler Desktop is a media player that connects to online sources and delivers free streaming music, internet radio, videos, and flash games. It allows users to search for content and add their favorites songs, videos, internet radio stations or flash games to their personal playlists. Dizzler also provides widgets that can be added to blogs and websites (including online community sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Friendster, etc.) and that can broadcast a user’s personal playlists.
A very good way to describe the Dizzler Media player is as a search engine: type in a name of an artist or song that you are interested in, and Dizzler will present you with a list of results to choose from. Once you have your results you can choose to play any of the entries, or otherwise mark them as favorites to add them to your personal playlist. Note that Dizzler is NOT a recommendation engine in the way Last.fm, Slacker, Pandora and others fashion themselves.
So, first off let’s get some logistical questions out of the way: you will have to register with a valid email address in order to get a Dizzler account; and once you set it up you can access it from Dizzler desktop, from the Dizzler.com website, or from a Dizzler widget that you put on a site (or sites). Here are some more notes on this program:
- The user interface: manages to be both simple and flashy-looking (which is an altogether good thing). Dizzler gets high marks for the simplicity of the interface, which is nearly segmented into 4 tabs for ’music’, ’video’, ’radio’, and ’games’. At times I found myself wishing I could scroll up/down lists using the arrow keys rather than the mouse but that’s no issue.
- Music: you will most likely find just about any music you are looking for (assuming it is not completely obscure). MP3s are streamed from all over the net, including blogs and random websites. In general the quality is quite good, but its possible to come across some surprises where the content is not entirely what you expect or where tracks are not named or tagged correctly.
- Video: it would seem that Dizzler draws solely from YouTube content. Just as in the case of music, you can flag videos as favorites or add them to playlists. You can browse by “today’s top videos” or other
- Internet Radio: easily search and listen to internet radio stations, and save your favorites. You can browse by most popular, by genre, by state or by country.
- Flash games: it might be marginally enjoyable to browse the featured flash games (the games open in a carefully sized browser window without displaying any of the advertising and other content that is on the site it came from). However, searching for some of the better flash games out there that I know about did not produce any results.
- The ’Social’ aspect: much like any video/music sharing site, Dizzler allows you to email/notify other people about any content that you like. You can also click on the “Who’s online” button and get access to the personal playlists of, well, whoever you might find online (there is no messaging/interaction function).
- The search function: is designed to retrieve any content that has your search terms associated with it. It is functional yet not too sophisticated (e.g. I searched for “NPR Seattle” in radio stations, for example, and got a list of NPR stations across the nation to choose from).
- Dizzler Widgets: I haven’t used this, but the Dizzler FAQ section has a lot of info as to how to set them up for your MySpace, Facebook and other community sites.
- Skins: supported.
- Downloading music: is not supported as such, but I was nonetheless able to do it using Orbit Downloader or URL Snooper. Downloading from the Dizzler.com website is fairly straightforward using Orbit Downloader; whereas the desktop app is a tad more tricky as you have to define Dizzler.exe as an app to monitor in Orbit’s Grab++ module (more info here).
Why use Dizzler? Three reasons, IMHO
- Its a nice all in one station for music and internet radio (oh and yes I almost forgot, YouTube video and flash games).
- You can find most of the music that you are looking for, which is quite remarkable. Unlike, say, Radio Blog Club, the quality of MP3s is not handicapped to 96kpbs (I only encountered 128kbps for the handful of random songs I downloaded in order to test).
- Its a nice way to share your content and distinct musical taste with others via widgets on your blog, MySpace page etc. Of course you can do this with other services such as Last.fm that is a recommendation engine to boot, but Dizzler offers a very nice product all the same.
The verdict: while this isn’t quite a revolutionary product I am having fun with it and I think that you probably will as well; who knows, I might even be tempted to set up a Dizzler Widget on Freewaregenius (stay tuned).
Version tested: 1.1
Compatibility: WinAll; (fairly decent) internet connection required.
The program page no longer exists, but you can download ver. 1.0 of the program here.