Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Music? The Best of Internet Radio

We've all spent plenty of time perusing the web for music. Between whatever band's MySpace, PureVolume or site player you've clicked on, there's no shortage of tunes to hear. But what about when you just want some new music? Maybe something that sounds like you're favorite group, but isn't. You could spend an eternity clicking through, and giving a listen to, that band's "friends," or you could hit some internet radio tailored to your tastes. Below are a list of some sites to help you find just what you're looking for.

Pandora - Everyone's favorite. Pandora is free and super easy to use. Just create an account, put together a station based on the bands that you love and get listening. You can pause songs, skip ahead if you wish and design a
multitude of stations depending on your listening tastes.

Pandora's site is uncluttered and easy on the eyes - a godsend in the online music world. The songs play back to back with no ridiculous popup ads stopping the flow. Occasionally they throw in an audio ad between songs, but hey, everybody's got to make a buck.

For the most part, we like Pandora. They've put together a fluent site that really does play music geared toward your tastes, given the artists you've selected. I can't tell you how many awesome bands I've found from Pandora. It's a great tool to broaden your horizons without leaving your scene.

Grooveshark - Welcome to internet radio based on the idea of creating your own playlist. Grooveshark strays from
Pandora in that it allows you to not only choose your artist, but your song. You put together your own playlist. This works nicely if you're only interested in a few songs by various artists, or are looking to preview an album that you're thinking of buying.

A plus for Grooveshark has got to be the "no contract" policy. You don't need to create an account to get started listening. Simply type in what you want, and away you go. Best part is, the site saves what you listened to last time you were there, and always asks if you'd like your playlist restored when you return.

Of course, you can create your own library, too. You can mark off your favorite songs, search for just about anybody, and pause and start without hesitation. Oh, and major kudos for no audio advertisements. - Again, another easy to use music site. You can listen, regardless of whether or not you have an account. Just type in the name of an artist you want to hear, and let do the rest. You'll hear the band you typed in first, then they'll take you through a slew of other artists that usually fit your tastes.

If you do choose to log in, you can comment on any of the songs and connect with other listeners on the site. Plus you can save stations, making it super easy to cater your listening tastes at any time.

The best part? If you're a multimedia lover like myself, you'll dig the fact that every song also comes along with a little slideshow of pictures of the band you're listening to. Oh, fancy...

Your local record store - Let's face it people, sometimes you've just got to step away from the computer. If you dare, and you're still feeling that urge for new music, check out your local indie record store. They're no doubt going to have some sort of free sampler CD with your name on it.

I've managed to find a few real gems through the old sampler CD method. I'd say I probably average about two awesome bands for every 10 I hear that way. Not too bad considering no one is secretly linking to my Facebook account to find out my favorite bands. Yeah, I'm talking about you creepy internet radio. But hey, I still love you.

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