PhonTunes Free is a clever app for iOS that organizes all the music and music videos on YouTube in one neat and tidy location for you to browse and enjoy. It has sections for popular videos, genres and even your own personal video library to store all of your favorites. The app requires iOS 7.0 or later. PhonTunes Pro is also available in the App Store or US$1.99 and removes the advertisements.
Everybody likes a good music video to accompany an equally good song. YouTube, thanks largely to music video service Vevo, houses almost any music video you search. However, since YouTube is home to virtually every other type of online video that exists, finding and filtering down to just your favorite songs and music videos can sometimes be a hassle. PhonTunes makes a solid effort to fix this.
Open PhonTunes and you're greeted by a "Discover" page. Here you find the "Popular" tab, which lists all of the most popular music videos along with their thumbnails, as well as the "Genre" tab, which lets you browse music videos all over YouTube by genre. Those of you with an eclectic taste should be pleased as there's a bountiful selection of genres from rap to country to avant-garde.
A search function is available as well where you can type in a specific artist or song to find results on YouTube. Unfortunately, this searches all of YouTube rather than narrowing down to just music. For instance, upon searching for Taylor Swift's new music video "Shake It Off" I received a result for Grace Helbig merely stating her thoughts on the song in a review. Another quick search for "Ice Bucket Challenge" in this app quickly revealed that music is far from the only form of content this app surfaces.
Tapping the plus icon next to any video listing adds it your own collection of favorite videos, accessible through "My Videos" at the bottom of the app. Additionally, using the batch management feature in My Videos allows you to select multiple videos for deletion or to add to a custom playlist.
As for the videos themselves, the player does them justice. They play in HD (when on a good connection) as one might expect and I actually think I like the player in this app better than Apple's default in iOS 7. It's simple, easy to understand and doesn't have that blurred translucency which I never cared for as part of the video player UI. For some reason though you have to tap an icon to expand to full-sized landscape mode. It seems easier to just use the iPhone and iPad's built-in accelerometers.
All in all, PhonTunes is a convenient solution for collecting and watching music videos on your phone. There are more popular competing apps like Vevo with similar functionality, but Vevo is limited to its own library while PhonTunes can play anything on YouTube, Vevo included. Other than the fact that you'll occasionally run into YouTube videos completely unrelated to music, PhonTunes Free is worth a download.