There is a lot of content on the web, and not everything can be a Strange things– or a big hit at the level of Taylor Swift. In fact, there are many videos and songs online that no one has ever seen or heard.
If you want to add some intrigue and adventure to your online media consumption, you can become a digital explorer and have the honor of being the first to see (or hear) these rare obscurities.
A word of warning though: you are likely to encounter a lot of trash on your travels. After all, there may be a reason why so many of these videos and songs have no views. Still, there’s always the chance of discovering something really special, because who wants to follow the crowd when it comes to finding videos and music?
It is much better to be a pioneer, at least for a while. Then you can go back to seeing and hearing the same things as everyone else.
The tool you need to find songs with zero streams on Spotify is called Forgotify, which promises access to millions of tracks no one has heard before. Uploading songs to Spotify’s library isn’t particularly difficult or expensive, so there’s a long queue of unreleased material.
Open Forgetfy and click start listening. The platform will immediately give you a random song with zero plays – you can click the play button to hear a preview or hover over the track and select Play on spotify to play the song there in its entirety. Forgetify will take you to the Spotify web player, which will ask you to sign in if you haven’t already.
[Related: Where to find new Spotify playlists when you don’t want to make your own]
Once you’ve listened to a song (and disqualified it from appearing on Forgotify anymore), you have two options. Click Share if you want other people to know about the song you just found on social media or via direct message, or click next if you’re ready to move on to something else.
During our time experimenting with Forgotify, we encountered all kinds of styles and genres of music, from folk to dance. There was a lot of foreign music, a lot of remixes, a lot of live material and what seemed to be an a cappella song recorded live at a wedding. You may not always be surprised, but you certainly won’t be bored.
Unfortunately, as far as we know, this is only something you can do in Spotify, and there are no equivalent tools for Apple Music and Tidal. Perhaps it’s because of the extra access Spotify gives developers to build on its platform, which includes metadata like how many streams a song has.
When it comes to YouTube, there are a couple of tools you can turn to to find videos with very low watch counts, either zero or not much more than that. The first is PetitTube, which couldn’t be easier to use. Just open the site in your web browser and a video will start playing.
Once the first video has finished, another one will automatically queue up, and then another, and another. If you want, you can sit back and spend hours watching videos that no one else has seen. Below each clip, you’ll see options that let you like or dislike the video on YouTube.
You get the same kind of service from Astronaut, which comes with an interesting spiel about the journey you’re about to go on when you start watching. Click Let’s goAnd just like with PetitTube, the site will take you through an endless succession of videos with zero or very few views.
[Related: How to only watch the best bits and other tricks to upgrade your YouTube experience]
What Astronaut does differently, though, is switch between videos at a faster rate, every ten seconds or so. That’s handy for keeping things moving, but if you want to stop and watch a full video, you’ll need to click the button below the clip. Meanwhile, you get an animated backdrop of views from space to fit in with the Astronaut name.
The quality here varies even more than on Spotify. Anyone can upload anything to YouTube for free, so expect to see a lot of poorly shot and confusing material, a lot of music, and a lot of home videos. It’s strangely fascinating, as you switch from forests to parties, conference rooms, dining halls, golf courses and churches around the world.