The age of digging through CD bins at the local music store may be long gone. Our store has become much bigger and offers many more modes for listening. Do we want these songs physically on our computers, taking up hard drive space but linking to our ipods? Do we want to stream new music online as we browse websites? Do we want music downloads from websites or from our peers? Or do we want to make play-lists of our favorite songs to post on our social networking pages? As you can see, it takes a music guide to get you through this muck of online music options.
Myspace (www.myspace.com) quickly became one of the best sources of free music. In fact, many bands shut down their websites completely and relied solely on this social networking site to list their gigs and post new music. You can use their music guide to look for local music, bands that sound like other bands you like or music from a certain genre. On many pages, you can also buy music for 99 cents a song. The benefit of Myspace is the ability to listen to a number of songs by a particular artist, while also gaining access to music news, blogs, videos, photos, tour dates, merchandise and more. The downside is that you can’t usually save these songs on your computer; it’s mostly a streaming site, but sometimes you can save select songs or make them play on your Myspace page with a single click.
Another great resource in our music guide is Pandora Radio (www.pandora.com). This website has been dubbed “the music genome project” because it contains a vast wealth of famous music artists and new independent bands meticulously filed into categories based on melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, arrangement and lyrics. Registration is free and supported by an occasional ad here and there, but users can type in a band or a song they like to get a whole personalized radio station created for them based on their favorites. Users can then give songs a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to further tailor the station to their interests. The site proves to be a great way to find new music and also buy music, as you can bookmark songs and purchase them through Amazon.
Another indie artist music guide is Amie Street (www.amiestreet.com). This recommendation website works off your preferences and allows you to import data from your iTunes library, your Last FM feed, your Pandora radio preferences and favorite music from Facebook. After analyzing your music preferences, the site will offer similar recommendations, allowing you to rate those recommendations. The benefit is that you can find a lot of new music and buy music legally. The downside is just that you have to buy many of the tracks, although some come as cheap as 2? apiece.