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How To: Find New Music You Like

Updated on May 14, 2010

Finding music that you enjoy is a difficult task if you rely solely on the radio to play the kinds of music you like. You can listen to a station that plays your favorite genre, say Blues or Pop, but within each genre is a huge range of music style. Many people have difficulty finding music that they enjoy because a song they like is only played once or twice a day and rarely are other songs that sound similar every played. But because of technology today, especially a project known as the Music Genome Project, it is much easier, and actually fun to find that exact combination of song style, lyrics, rhythm, etc., that you enjoy.

First, I would turn to a site called Pandora. Pandora is a site that is built off the Music Genome Project. Essentially, it is very easy to use, and requires a simple signup to save customized "stations." To begin, you simply enter the name of an artist, song, or album that you like to listen to. Then, Pandora begins working. At first, it may play some songs that are fairly different. In fact, there are times when you will wonder why Pandora ever even played that song. But, if you diligently rate each song that is played by clicking the "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down," Pandora will begin to learn from your choices and play more and more suitable songs. The more you listen and rate, the better it becomes. You can even save several different stations, bookmark songs, and buy them on Amazon or iTunes. Pandora also has mobile applications for the iPhone and Android that make listening to and rating new songs on the go much easier.

There are other music discovery sites out there in addition to Pandora. From my research, Grooveshark and Last.fm seem to be the best in addition to Pandora.

Essentially, all of these sites work by either comparing musical qualities within the song to other song styles, or by taking a social approach. Socially, sites like Last.fm work by analyzing how many people have liked the song you like, and then comparing it to other songs. 

Music discovery doesn't need to be painful. It is very easy to find new music just by launching one of the sites above, putting in a few names of songs you like, and listening to the songs that are matched. Ultimately however, no site is perfect, and it usually winds up being something you can't name that makes a song enjoyable. That is the art of music.

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