8: Free Music Sites
Posted on 02.06.2008
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I listen to a lot of music. But I grow tired of my iPod at times. Or my battery runs out. Or I simply want to explore some new music without paying for it upfront. That's when I turn to the Web. Below I have listed eight websites - in no particular order - where you can discover new music, hear some old favorites and even make recommendations for fellow audiophiles. Most of them are free. All of them must have the antiquated music industry shaking in their collective boots.
AOL Music: I know what you're thinking - AOL is for the silver surfer generation. But this site has some really nice free features. Click on an artist and see videos, play songs, read news and discover similar artists. On the artist page, start typing and the system automatically starts searching. You can also find lyrics, interviews and biography information. Once you look past the requisite gossip news and advertisements it's a pretty extensive site with a large catalog and some interesting features. The more I use it, the more I like it.
Songerize: Relative newcomer to the scene, Songerize is pretty straight-forward. Enter a song and artist and it will play. Good for when you just can't get that song out of your head and need to hear it right now. Try entering a song without the artist (or vice versa) and you'll find some interesting covers or different versions than what you're used to hearing.
Spinjay: Started by Will Johnson, a 17-year-old from the Boston area, Spinjay is a community-in-the-making of music enthusiasts who ask for recommendations, create and share playlists with each other. By creating, voting and sharing playlists you can earn points and become a "respected DJ." Once you find a playlist you can play it directly from your browser - at no cost. If you like, you can also purchase and download the playlist from iTunes. For now the catalog is fairly slim, but if that changes this site has some potential.
SeeqPod: This is a music search and recommendation site. Enter a search term (song or artist) and you'll get links to play that selection directly from the source and create and share playlists. SeeqPod is constantly indexing. From the home page you will see what titles are currently being indexed and the link leading to the song. Check out the discover feature. Like Pandora, an algorithm searches for similarities with artists and offers up those songs too.
Pandora: If you don't know already know about Pandora, you should be reexamine your status as a music junkie. Enter a song or artist and Pandora will play music that has similar style, beats and rythym - thus creating a "station." Create as many stations as you like using the song or artist, give a thumbs up for songs you like, thumbs down for those you don't and even purchase songs directly. Pandora is a great tool for hands-off music streaming while working.
Woxy: A former Cincinnati rock station, WOXY was rebirthed on the Web with great success. A streaming music source, WOXY plays mostly alternative music, but there are plenty of options, including Vintage, "a 24/7 streaming channel from WOXY.com dedicated to the history of Modern Rock,
Alternative and Punk music. where users can stream playlists." Of course, you can purchase what you hear and download podcasts.
KCRW: Southern California's leading National Public Radio affiliate, KCRW features streaming music, news and a live station simulcast. The music side is focused on underground, progressive and independent styles. According to their website, "Our 24/7 hosted stream is designed to reach the open-minded and adventurous
music fan. We play music we love, by artists we believe in, all hand-selected by
real DJs." To get started, simply click the Music icon at the top of the page.
MySpace: For all of its faults, MySpace has an extensive music collection - just about any band can be found, even the house band at your local pub. Click on the Music link from the home page to start exploring. One of the nice things about MySpace music is the artists' pages. They include some videos, tour dates, news, links to other band pages and sometimes the ability to purchase. Most band pages will have at least four full-lenth songs free to play, sometimes more.
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