The Best Music Discovery Sites

There are so many incredible sites out there for discovering music! Unfortunately, some can be pretty hard to find without getting a headache. I've scoured the internet for the best ones that will not only introduce you to new music, but often will play it for you. I'm sure you've heard of a few of them, but I'm willing to bet I can introduce you to something new.

The List

These are ordered somewhere between popularity and my own personal affections.

Pandora Radio

Pandora is a well-designed site with a wide range of music. Throw an artist or song into it, and it will immediately begin to play similar songs. You can let Pandora know whether you like a song or not, and it will cut it off and never play it again if you don't. In this way you can customize your own stations to share with the community.

Last.fm

Last.fm is a downloadable radio application that also plays songs based on your input. But its main draw is its ability to play music based on your music application's history, whether it be iTunes, Winamp, etc. Last.fm also has a wide community on its site that is much more fleshed out than Pandora or Musicovery's.

Spotify

Spotify is a music sharing program that downloads to your computer. It looks a little like iTunes, only dark grey and green. You can connect with friends and see what they're listening to, and integrate with last.fm. There's a huge catalog of songs and a radio option (there are over 10 million users). If you live in the US it's a great free program. If you live outside of it, after six months, you'll only be allowed to listen to 10 hours of music per month unless you pay $4.99/month.

allmusic

Allmusic is not a radio, and can only play sound bites. It does, however, have a much broader knowledge of music than the radio sites, with large recommendations lists. Strangely it's lacking in the community department, but it's invaluable for finding new music.

Grooveshark

My fave. This site isn't as clean as Pandora, but it comes with the huge bonus of letting you listen to and replay any song you want, anytime. Their database is very large and their recommendations are unique.

Musicovery

This one is really cool. Select the genres you want, and then pick a point between Energetic, Dark, Positive and Calm. Musicovery will generate a colorful map of bubbles, each with its own song, and play them as it bounces around. It's a little haphazard but very interesting.

Playlistunes

Soundigger recommended this one. It has a more personal atmosphere than any of the others, with its simple black background and single-page design, almost like you have a private connection with another world. It works through icons that say things like "Peace", "Hip Hop", "Heavy", etc. But the awesome thing about it is that it only plays RARE music, so you don't have to hear the same damn artists that you've been recommended a million times. I adore this site.

Serendip

A recommendation from Sage Levy. The most social of the list, this site recommends people for you to follow based on your musical tastes, and allows you to listen to music they like. It's clean and modern. It does require a Twitter or Facebook login.

Mflow

Thanks to Robbie for this recommendation. He writes, "mflow lets your friends recommend music to you and lets music go social- it's like itunes and twitter in one!
They also have weekly offers and free downloads, it's great!
Definitely try mflow out, you constantly find out about new bands, songs, remixes, etc, brilliant."

FoxyTunes

Listen to music on FoxyTunes and it will make you recommendations in real-time. Search for an artist and you'll find a thorough profile with music, video, and info widgets, which are customizable.

iRate

iRate is a simple site that offers a downloadable radio. The radio plays tracks and based on your rating and those of past users, plays songs it thinks you'll like. It may not be as far-reaching as the more popular applications.

LivePlasma

Really frickin' cool.

LivePlasma has an simple, colorful layout that is reminiscent of Musicovery's. It won't play music for you, but enter an artist and it will create a pretty map of bubbles with other artists you may like. It is kind of annoying to navigate though.

It also recommends movies.

Live365

Live365 lets you search radio stations that play music you like. It covers thousands of stations but won't be near as exact as sites specifically for recommendations.

MOG

I'll let them do the talking this time.

"Listen...to millions of full-length songs, for free.

Share...your music library, playlists, and opinions on music.

Discover...music recommended by users who share your musical tastes."

Their design is kind of a mess, but it definitely has an active community.

EpiTUNES

EpiTUNES covers many bases (radio, search, etc.) to help you find new artists. It also keeps up a concert watch and focuses on community.

musicmap

Another search-and-see bubbles site. It's not so well-done; it tends to give you several albums by the same artist each time, and sometimes this means you only get one artist recommendation at a time.

! At the time of this writing, no longer available, but may return.

Slacker

A customizable radio; especially good if you want to please the rocker in you.

Gnoosic

Gnoosic is the simplest design you'll find, but gosh it works. It recommends music, books, and movies.

Songkick

This is the only site I know of like this. It tracks concerts across the US and UK and not only lets you know when and where your favorite artists are playing, but will even recommend you concerts based on it.

Tastekid

This site recommends music, books, or movies based on the titles you type it. It also allows for members (free) to get more personalized recommendations based on their past ratings. It often gives YouTube examples of artists. Its recommendations are generally really good.

Jampri

A Youtube-powered, user-run playlist site recommended by Matt.

Soundcloud

Vaguely similar to MySpace, this site allows users to upload music to share with a huge community. Dissimilar to MySpace, however, it has a beautiful, clean design, and is professional and filled with quality music, largely experimental.

The Mahogany Sessions

Lesser-known artists recorded by the Mahogany staff. Almost entirely gentler music, and very soulful and real.

Another Lazy Sunday

Indie UK artists recorded live in quiet places. Much like the Mahogany Sessions.

My Bands Music

Listen to independent artists.

Opsound

Download, remix, and share music from independent artists.

via: squidoo

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