Your first step on your journey begins at a fork in the road:
Looking down a clean path through the forest you’ll see a trail that is well-traveled. This route is through Pandora.com, a site featuring the Music Genome Project. Travelers down this path know the bands that they are into and even have a few songs that they just can’t get enough of. This route will offer you some variation in the form of bards you don’t recognize. If you’re a fan of the tunes then you can praise these artists with a mere thumbs up. O, were that enough to satisfy that obnoxious guitar artist singing outside the bar with the undernourished dog sleeping next to his open guitar case…
If a song annoys you, a thumbs down will ensure you won’t hear it again. A feature I have proven is not available in real life. I really do have it out for those vagrant musicians. The Music Genome Project analyzes your choices and will adjust your radio station accordingly. Recently I found this amazing song on my Eardrum Symphony station:
Asbestoscape – Mono Clicking on the song brings up a new window discussing its features:
minor key tonality
a heavy twang in the vocals
a prominent saxophone part
an instrumental arrangement
For the tone deaf and talentless people like myself, most of that means nothing to me. I still appreciate the effort to map out my music tastes. Pandora is very useful when it comes to providing information on songs, artists, and albums on music you stumble upon. I have yet to run to encounter a track that does not have any useful information on it. Pandora’s faults are easy to correct. If a song you like is just overplayed, you have the “Don’t Play this song for a month option”, or if your eardrums were assaulted, you can select “Why was this song selected?” to find the cause for the disruption before you give it the thumbs down.
Shifting your view from this narrow path you’ll see an open plain, a less traveled road that offers little cover, but clear enough that you can see all the wandering artists aimlessly walking in the plains of Musicovery.com, an interactive webRadio. On this path, music is represented by two axis’, Dark <-> Positive & Calm <-> Energetic. The true carefree spirit can select all genres and eras of music to enjoy.
Musicovery is a very aesthetically-pleasing website that offers the mood and theme-based approach to finding new music. In this meadow you can see the drum circles, jam sessions, concerts, studio-recordings, orchestras in color coordinated clothing. Not into the Gospel sounds of the 1970s? Avoid the folks in purple shirts sporting terrible hairdos. Into new age Rap, apparently they’re all part of the Bloods. As are the Electro groups, I had my suspicions about Fatboy Slim. These color-coded “Universes” provide a web of music that is ever changing and can be quickly manipulated by clicking on song you want.
Imagine being able to create themed parties that you control by dissing on the bands you don’t like, breaking their hearts and giving props to the others with a less than three, adding them to your favorites. Finding the mood monotonous? Call in for backup bands from different “Universes”. What party couldn’t use more Funk from artists like Jamiroquai?
Musicovery has several features that make it a versatile music station. The aforementioned mood system is helpful, but if you find yourself not getting the results you’re looking for, create an account, favorite the songs you enjoy and adjust the amount of fresh results the site will offer. Shifting it all the way to the heart will play the songs you like. It has a scale that goes like this: songs -> artists -> universe -> play hits -> Discovery.
After a few hours down your path you may have even crossed your paths. You may get tired of the vast openness of the Musicovery plains and decide to head into the woods with Bjork and the Postal Service at your side. Your journey isn’t over, you’ve found some songs, but have you found the artists you were searching for? The last step in your voyage is a narrow pass to ever-growing library of Songza.com, with a potential shortcut that will be discussed later.
In Songza search for your artist and you’ll find more of their songs and possibly videos. You can listen to anything anyone has uploaded. Consider it the YouTube of music. This site is incredible versatile, it’s a nice break from Pandora and Musicovery because you can play the song you want to hear and even skip to a part of it. C’mon Tool did you have to make the best part of “Rosetta Stoned” near the end of an 11 minute long song? Explore the bands you’re after, visit their website or MySpace page. You’ll sometimes find that the songs you enjoy the most sound nothing like the rest of artist’s music. Sample their tracks a bit more if you’re hesitant to make the splurge on their CD or your HDD space.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief guide, there are many more features to these sites worth mentioning, but it would be easier for you to start the journey yourself rather than me writing it out for you. Honestly would really care to know that, Musicovery.com is available on specific Nokia phones? Didn’t think so.