As a Bedroom DJ who struggles to appeal to the ever changing music tastes of my two cats and my subconscious (I haven’t been able to decide which is more picky yet…), music discovery has become a big part of my life. Instead of digging through crates of vinyl at my once beloved Cheapo, I wade through the internet to find my jams. These are the tools I use to do it:
If you enjoy listening to mixes that keep the vibe going, but haven’t had the time to track down a DJ to your liking, Mixcloud has got you covered. It has tons of mixes from every imaginable genre and, as the name suggests, is really just a Soundcloud for DJs looking to share their mixes.
It can be painful to hop around from one site to the next, clicking on each little play button. God forbid if you’re trying to get anything else done because you will be looking for your next tune every 5 minutes: this is where Hype Machine shines. Hype Machine aggregates 867 of your favorite music blogs into a slick interface that lets you play all of those once scattered tracks effortlessly. It also has a few neat features like ‘Spy’ which lets you see what others are listening to and ‘Popular’ which serves up the most popular artists, searches and blogs on the net.
Occasionally I come across a blog I want to follow that isn’t on Hype Machine. For these poor souls, I use my trusty RSS reader. While it doesn’t have the best playback functionality, it is a step up from surfing each blog individually. It has also saved me from creating a tumblr account, since I can just plug those blogs into my reader as well.
Boy do I miss those days of yesteryear when I would woe my dearest ladyfriend with a sweet serenading mix tape. With 8Tracks I can listen to other people’s “mix tapes” and pretend that they were originally intended for me (yay!).
This one is a bit more involved if you have never used Reddit before. For you first timers, Reddit is an information discovery platform that allows users to submit content under a specific ‘sub-reddit’ (theme) like ‘Politics’ or ‘Technology’. The content is then voted on by peers of that sub-reddit, and, if all goes as intended, the cream rises to the top. This works particularly well with music as most popular genres have a sub-reddit dedicated to them. Using this handy little tool you can drop in a slew of music sub-reddits and listen to all of the content contained within them.
And there you have it. Those are the trusty tools strapped to my DJ utility belt of pure audio bliss. However, there are a million other discovery tools out there, so which ones do YOU use when looking for something new to add to your library?