As an avid music and movie connosouir I love to find new bands to listen to on a regular basis. It’s a cheap and fulfilling hobby to have, especially when you have friends with similar interests in music, since you can share music for free in a lot of ways. I’ll share with you some of the ways I’ve discovered (with a little help from my friends.)
Pandora: Pandora is a well-known internet site that plays out like a radio station for what you like. You enter the name of a band you like, they will generate a station around that band. You can also see the lyrics of most music, and get a bio on the band. Here’s what Pandora has to say about how they choose the music they play: “To understand just how we do this, and why we think we do it really, really well, you need to know about the Music Genome Project®… It’s the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together our team of musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every track – melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics … and more! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.” Sounds cool, right? The only annoying thing is that the music stops after about 2 hours, and you have to hit a button on the screen to tell them “you’re still listening”. Small price to pay. Oh, and every now and then it throws you a curve ball. Michael Jackson on my A Fine Frenzy station? What?
Spotify: Spotify is relatively new to the United States, but just as cool, if not, cooler than Pandora. You have to download it onto your computer, it doesn’t work like a website like Pandora. BUT it’s better in the way that you can listen to bands and songs ON CALL, whereas Pandora lets you pick a band you like and they generate the station around it. You can listen to stations on Spotify like a radio, rate the music you like, and if you log in through Facebook, you can see other friends that use Spotify, what they are listening to, and share music with them that you’d want them to listen to. You can sync your Itunes library with Spotify and create playlists. If you pay for Spotify’s premium account you can listen to songs on demand from your phone, whereas the free phone app is radio only. Read this over the moon testimonial for more details.
Yes, it IS as simple as it looks.
Last.FM: Last.FM is a music recommendation site you can use to listen to new bands in a streaming radio style format using “The Scrobbler” while learning all about the bands you are listening too. You can link your other accounts to Last.Fm like what you listen to on your phone with apps like CloudScrob or by connecting Spotify to your account and even track your iTunes plays on your computer by downloading the computer app. It will tell you what you tend to listen to the most and recommend new bands based on your “scrobbles”. Like you don’t already know. In addition the Last.FM app for your phone allows you to use the streaming radio for free.
A little glimpse at Last.FM
Rdio: I’m checking out Rdio today, seems similar to many other streaming music playing websites like Pandora (but better!) with many many more choices. I’ll update again with results.
Band of the Day: Band of the Day is an app for your Iphone and IPad that helps you discover new bands on a day-to-day basis. It shows you a juxtaposition of a calender over a photo of a band, and you can click on the past days in the calender to see the other bands that were presented through the month. Through this app you can discover a bio, discography, lyrics and links to the videos. Don’t worry, it’s not all Indie music, there are a lot of genres on there. But the music IS all new stuff, no blasts from the past.
Band of the Day. It just looks fun.
Discovr Music: Discovr Music is an awesome app for the IPhone ($1.99) or the IPad that helps you to, well, discover music. You put in a band you like, and it shows up in a little bubble. You can then find out about that band with albums, tour dates, bio, and more. But wait, there’s more! You can tap on the bubble, and like a little spider, more bands similar to that band pop out of the bubble attached with little legs. Tap on as many bands as you want and create a twisted web of music. It’s pretty fun. They actually have an app now for movies as well for all you film buffs.
This is what Discovr-ing is like.
ITunes Library Side Bar: This is a given for anyone that has ever used the ITunes library. You’re probably also seen that little symbol that looks like an atom floating at the bottom of the screen. It’s the genius symbol and you can select a song from your OWN library and ITunes will create a playlist for you. I do this in the car on the Iphone when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to skip through the shuffle or pick an artist to listen to. I pick one song and let my phone do the rest. But while in ITunes, you can also listen to one of your own songs and a new group of artists you don’t have will pop up in the side bar for you to check out. You can sample the songs on the spot. It’s pretty easy. But if you want the song, you have to buy it through ITunes.
Turntable.FM: Turntable.FM is a fun site more for entertainment purposes than strictly music sharing. It’s a social music site where you are the DJ for a room full of other DJ’s and listeners. The DJ’s sit at a “table” and take turns playing music for the people in the room. You can use this site to be a listener, choosing a genre of music (songs played by other music listeners) or you can be the DJ, and play music with people like you, and discover new songs in the process. You can also play this site like a game, earning enough song points to buy your avatar a little costume so you look cooler. Hey, you can even be a little monkey. You can also talk to the other people about the music you have in common. Not into the song that’s playing? Rate it, and you can get it shut off. If you find something you like, but don’t know you can even be directed to buy the track right from iTunes or add it to your Spotify.
What do you like to listen to, and how? Happy Music Listening!