The days when the airwaves determined the next big artist and we met bands through the Ed Sullivan show and feature films are over. Now, there are dozens of ways to discover new bands and new music, each driven by its own brand of “smart” recommendation technology. From polling your friends on what they are interested in or sonically analyzing the songs that you do like to find similar sounding artists, today’s music recommendation services can broaden horizons in exciting new ways. Check out some of the best ways to discover new music:
Pandora is an Internet radio service that generated dynamic stations based on your preferences. You get things started by choosing a song, artist or genre to base your station off of. From there, you can skip, like or dislike a song. Pandora takes this information about your likes and dislikes and tries to find songs that match your preferences. The unique thing about Pandora is that doesn’t base its judgments on critics or subjective opinions. Instead, it analyzes each song in its catalogue for certain qualities, such as instrumentation, mood, tempo, etc. and categorizes them that way.
Last.FM is a social music hub that lets you listen to streaming music online, but also add artists, albums and songs to your favorites list. Then, you can add other friends and see what they like as well. In addition to similar artist suggestions, you can see what your friends recommend and give it a listen for yourself. You can even create playlists to share with your friends.
Ping is the iTiunes social music recommendation service that lets you follow artists, friends and others within the music community. From there, you can see what your friends are buying, reviewing and recommending as well as get announcements from your favorite artists. It’s like a mix between Twitter and Last.FM, and a great way to keep track of new releases from your favorite bands and see what new music your friends are in to.
4. Hype Machine
The Hype Machine which can be found at hypem.com. Part blog, part aggregator, Hype Machine tracks songs and videos that are being discussed throughout the web. In this way, you can check out songs and artists that are creating lots of buzz—you may even discover the next big thing.
5. Zune Pass
Zune, which is the Microsoft equivalent to iTunes, has its own built in recommendation engine that finds you music that you might like based on what’s already in your library. With a paid membership, you can stream entire songs before downloading them. For free version users, you can stream a 30 second sample before making up your mind.
There are tons of great ways to find new music on the web. If your music collection is getting stale or if you are just curious as to what’s hot, new or happening, these services give you plenty of opportunities to hear new music or music that is new to you.