Music lovers can often find it hard to keep discovering new music that suits their tastes. This shouldn’t be the case, because great new bands pop up all the time. However, we all know that not all new bands are easy to find or keep track of.
I use Last.fm and Grooveshark to do all the hard work of finding new music and artists to listen to. Today, I’m going to tell you about each service, and how they can help you expand your music library and knowledge with just a few clicks.
Last.fm is a social network focused on music. It is great for people who want to stumble upon new bands matching their taste. Last.fm makes use of their audioscrobbler, which is a recommendation engine to help build a thorough profile of each user’s musical taste. It records all the details of the songs you listen to. This detailed information is moved to Last.fm’s database via a plugin installed into your music player on your computer. The data is then displayed on your profile page. The site provides recommendations based on all this data provided. These recommendations take all the hard work out of finding new artists.
Another great feature of Last.fm is that you can create your very own radio station based on the music you listen to. You can have a look at and listen to your friends’ radio stations as well.
Last.fm is built as an open source platform and can support nearly all media players including iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, xBox, TiVo, mobile phones, slim devices, Launchcast, Yahoo Music Engine and even Pandora.
The most interesting of the new features at Last.fm is concert ticket sales. Last.fm provides links to buy tickets to your favorite band performances. It suggests concerts based on where you live and what you and your friends listen to. Last.fm also helps in finding a compatible person with similar music tastes as that of yours by making use of Taste-o-Meter which assigns the user a musical compatibility score. This helps you find new friends to talk about your favorite bands with.
Unlike Last.fm, Grooveshark lets you start playing songs instantly, without even a log-in prompt. This is great as you can start listening to songs first, and then sign up if you feel like. Grooveshark’s interface is much more natural than that of Last.fm and looks like a media library of an mp3 player.
Grooveshark offers most of the site services in the form of widgets. You can also customize it at many levels, change the dimensions, add and remove buttons and play around with the colors. Grooveshark also allows you to upload your own music to the site in order to add it to your library that is built into Grooveshark.
Both these music recommendation services are great but Last.fm holds a slight edge, on account of services like Taste-o-Meter, concert ticket information and a better database. What site do you use to discover new music?
(By) Chinmoy Kanjilal is a technology, web2.0 and Linux enthusiast and evangelist. He has an in depth knowledge of working of Softwares, Operating Systems, Hardwares and Computer Networks. Blogging is his favourite pasttime. He blogs primarily at Techarraz. You can find him on Twitter @chinmoykanjilal.
Image by Maxios