Although there are still plenty of us out there who prefer the gentle crackle of a spinning record to a sterile mp3, we can all use the Internet to expand our musical horizons. Here are some great sites you can use as a jumping off point on your journey to aural enlightenment!
- Pandora is my personal favorite, though it's a bit basic by the standards some of these other sites set. If you create an account, you can create as many personal "radio stations" as you want by typing in an artist or song name. Pandora will then play songs that have similar traits. You can rate each song with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down so it can further shape the station. Downsides: you can only skip a certain amount of songs per hour, and there are a few ads.
- Musicovery is cool as well. You can go Pandora style and just type in an artist name, but what makes this site special is the mood and decade selector. You can click anywhere on a spectrum of "Positive - Energetic - Dark - Calm" and then select the time period you want to hear from. Downsides: you have to sign up for the premium (paid) membership to skip songs, and a lot of times clicking "60s" brought up a lot of classical music. Hmmm...
- Musicmesh employs a visual aid. Type in an artist, and it will show you a map of albums that you'd like as well. Downsides: the library seems a little limited; when I typed in fairly well-known indie acts like Tallest Man on Earth and Monsters of Folk, it didn't seem to recognize them, so you may have to stick to more famous bands - like Led Zeppelin!