Discovering new music

12Nov06

One of my favourite things to do is listening to music. Another thing is discovering new artists. I used to discover new bands by listening to the radio, watching TV and receiving recommendations from my friends. Now a days I discover most bands online. Here’s a overview over my favourite sites. Some of them will probably be familiar to most of you, but others might not.

Site logos

Last.fm: I’ve been a member of Last.fm since it was Audioscrobbler.com, and I loved it since the first time I started using it. Originally Last.fm tracked songs you had listened to and made charts out of the information it gathered. Now it does so much more than that. You have Neighbourhood Radio where you can listen to the favourite songs of people who have similar music taste as you, there’s a Recommendation Radio where you listen to songs that have been recommended to you specifically or to the entire community, there are detailed artist information pages, communities, blogs, shoutboxes, tags and the list of features just continues. The site keeps improving all the time as well. If you like music, and you don’t have an account here, I’d say that you are missing out!

Pandora.com: Even though I despise anything that’s made in Flash, I can’t help but like Pandora. Pandora is a site where you can create a custom radio station based on similar artists of one or several artists you like. For example: I can create a radio station where I add Kanye West and Jay-Z as artists, the songs that come on when I listen to this radio station might be Kanye and Jay-Z, but it might be Common or some unknown hip-hop artists as well. The radios have a rating system so that you can give a song “thumbs down” if you’d rather not hear it again, or “thumbs up” if you like it.

Liveplasma: Type in the name of an artist that you like and a map of similar artists will appear. The more similar the artists are, the closer their names will be. If a band is very popular, it will be placed in a bigger bubble than a less popular band. If you click on the names of the similar artists, the map will change into a map for the new artist. The artist’ discography also shows up.

Music-Map: Same principle as that of Liveplasma, only simpler. When you click on the artist names you are taken to a new page with the discography and discussion area about the artist.

If you’re interested in discovering new bands, there is always MySpace, though I think most new bands there suck, and the community more so. I love the music that is being played on The O.C. so I always make sure to check out the bands that show up there. Another way to discover loads of new bands is by listening to podcasts. There are podcasts for all sorts of genres. Personally I like IndieFeed and Indie Anthems (because I like indie music…).

Do you have any sites you would like to add to my list?

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10 Responses to “Discovering new music”

  1. I have used last.fm and pandora too. They rock! Pandora is the result of the Music Genome Project – a painstaking project to describe every song with 400 attributes. An algorithm based on this data is used to find songs similar to the one that is currently playing. Last.fm, however, conveniently plays those songs that other users of similar tastes also listened too. Both approaches work for me 🙂

    Why don’t you like things made in Flash? Last.fm player is also in Flash, isn’t it?

  2. I don’t like Flash because up untill lately I had a very slow computer where Flash pages would make everything even slower. Last.fm’s radio is simple, while Pandora’s player was a bit too heavy for for my old computer.

  3. 3 Wengistein

    I tried out the LivePlasma thingo and it’s pretty neat. I’m very sceptical when it comes to new music. Whenever I discover new music, I find it really sucks. Am I too picky or am I still stuck in the 60s-90s?

  4. I agree with Tina, I simply Love Last.FM, but these days I rarely listen to music, so there is nothing to scrobble

  5. Until now i discovered new music by watching TV or by some friends ..but now these sites will definately help me …

  6. Pandora seriously rocks ! No comparison , I’ve made lots of new fav bands thru Pandora , particularly Greenday!

  7. That list’s very exhaustive I guess, I knew only 4 off them 😛

    Last.fm rocks, havent tried Pandora yet, heard its only for US?

  8. Hey Tina! I’m an indie music fan as well. I actually own indieanthems.com (which you’ve mentioned). Anyway, if you have any suggestions or song requests for the podcast, you can feel free to email me.

  9. Yeah, I read it the other day and they had many interesting links.



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