How can I get more obscure music on the internet?
May 17, 2006 8:24 PM   Subscribe

How can I file share more obscure music?

I have been using peer to peer filesharing programs since napster but with every new generation of file sharing software, I always I have problems finding more obscure music especially stuff that hasn't been rereleased in years or ever. I was wondering what all of you internet masters thought was the best way to get into more serious and specific filesharing, especially anything community based.
posted by bigspoon to Computers & Internet (24 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You could try this. The results are kind of patchy but sometimes hit.
posted by nanojath at 8:27 PM on May 17, 2006

Seek out an invite to
posted by grabbingsand at 8:46 PM on May 17, 2006 [1 favorite]

There are loads of obscure albums coming up every day on various "sharity" sites, such as Chocoreve -- more stuff than one can listen to. My music-and-video-blogroll is up to 39 sites (offering single tracks, albums, videos) that I check in on a couple times a week -- I don't use p2p much any more, except for torrents.
posted by omnidrew at 8:47 PM on May 17, 2006

Well, lots of the people who are into relatively obscure genres feel like the more obscure the artist, the more s/he actually needs material/$$ support. That said, there must be at least some people who are actively sharing every kind of music, and the best way to connect with them is probably more direct (joining lists & finding sites related to the subgenres you care about, rather than hoping to find really obscure stuff on the giant networks full of strangers).
posted by allterrainbrain at 8:58 PM on May 17, 2006

Soulseek is what I have been using for 3-4 years now...maybe longer. You won't always find extremely obscure stuff on the same day, but I've generally found what I was looking for within a few days by searching every day. The torrent-based sites are a good alternative as well, but if you'd like to try a more traditional p2p, soulseek is nice.

Also, there is a nice sense of community - non-sharers are very poorly regarded, and people tend to share well. The sense of community and resonsibility is much stronger on private torrent sites, though. I personally share a decent sized collection of out-of-print albums and various live performances.
posted by pinespree at 9:08 PM on May 17, 2006

I second Grabbingsand about Oink. Great site.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 9:10 PM on May 17, 2006

You want soulseek, I think.
posted by devilsbrigade at 9:40 PM on May 17, 2006

The best way to find really obscure music on the internet is to share really obscure music on the internet.

And while I understand the argument that the more obscure folks are the ones more in need of royalties, most of the bands that I'm tracking down get nothing whether I buy the insanely overpriced eBay vinyl or whether I download it. There's an argument to be made that downloading albums makes labels less likely to rerelease, but the chances of them tracking down rights-holders is slim to none anyway...

Yeah, get yourself to sharity blogs,, WFMU's beware of blog, and OINK (or whatever that other indietorrents site is)...

What are you looking for? That can help narrow down where to send you...
posted by klangklangston at 9:52 PM on May 17, 2006

My roommate was on Oink for a while. There was some really odd stuff on there, ranging from "modestly obscure but still maybe in the world music section" to "could concievably be the uploader's friend cutting a demo tape in his garage." The community seemed to be strong, if a bit forced by the obligatory BitTorrent ratio requirements. (In fact, I think the reason my roommate stopped was because he couldn't upload as much as he was supposed to.) I haven't hit up the filesharing networks since shortly after Napster's demise, but if I were still a downloadin' man, Oink looks like a pretty good way to go.

Another less community-based idea is to check out the Live Music Archive. There's a lot of well-known or mainstream stuff there (Grateful Dead, anyone?), but there are also a ton of random-ass artists just trying to get some exposure. If you're looking for specific recordings or artists this may not help you, but if you're just looking for a source for obscure music, the LMA ought to do it.

re legality/ethics: There are a lot of arguments to be made to justify file sharing; pick your poison. At the end of the day, you're still not buying music from musicians who need it (and, perhaps, deserve it) the most. An appropriate one for this situation: obscure artists want to have their music spread. The whole indie vs sellout thing is bullshit -- no one starts a band to languish in obscurity for a decade or two. They want a fanbase, and this is the best way to do it. Your conscience may vary.
posted by danb at 11:07 PM on May 17, 2006

Another vote for Soulseek.

I've found stuff on Soulseek that I have never seen on any Bittorrent tracker, p2p app, or Usenet.

The Soulseek client for Windows is really shitty (the OSX version much better), but it's worth putting up with its annoying quirks for the wealth of obscurity that lies within the shared folders of thousands of music snobs on the Soulseek network.
posted by melorama at 11:18 PM on May 17, 2006

Soulseek's power comes from:
(a) Building in a chatroom interface, which encourages people who like and share certain genres to get together. If you want some (genre x), head to the appropriate chat room, and browse some folks' files while they browse yours.
(b) The feature where it will keep searching for a term, day after day, until something comes up. Some times I'll get a hankering for something, do a search, find nothing. Then a week later, suddenly someone's sharing an album and I can go grab it.
(c) The search interface searches folder names as well as filenmaes, which often makes it much easier to find certain genres and artists. If someone is sharing their 60s salsa in C:\mp3\60s Salsa\ - well, you're set.
(d) For some reason, there's just a good community on there - I don't know how Soulseek has managed to stay under the radar for so long. But the majority of users seem to share some sort of interesting music or another.

Anyone remember Audiogalaxy? Now that had some obscure shit on it.
posted by Jimbob at 11:54 PM on May 17, 2006

Audiogalaxy was sooo cool! You could find anything on AG. Anything. It was amazing.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:11 AM on May 18, 2006

Fourth or whatever for Oink. I've hardly used anything else since getting on there about a year ago. Before that I used to be seriously into Soulseek, but it was well into a pretty steep decline in usability when I quit using it. Also, with Soulseek, as a sharer I was getting sick of playing God with my upload queues (e.g. letting the people who wanted more obscure stuff ahead of the people who were downloading Rammstein from me).

Mind you, I'm primarily into industrial/idm/experimental music, and Oink has a fairly dedicated subgroup of people dedicated to spreading goodies in those genres. YMMV with other types of music, although it is a very large site with thousands of users.
posted by neckro23 at 1:14 AM on May 18, 2006

soulseek is superb for many weird subgroups. Once you find someone who is into your area of music, start getting on people's lists - a lot of people are list-only, but once you pass that barrier, really everything is there.

really, everything.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:04 AM on May 18, 2006

omnidrew: I've just now downloaded the Claudine Longet RAR from Chocoreve, and it wants me to "enter the password for the encrypted rar." Do you know about this?
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:34 AM on May 18, 2006

Soulseek = real music p2p.

Anything else = BS.
posted by Lockeownzj00 at 4:46 AM on May 18, 2006

I got an invite once from MeFi, but there were too many people hitting it at once. Anyone want to send me an Oink account invite?
posted by griffey at 7:21 AM on May 18, 2006

I would also go visit tofuhut. They have a ton of links to other music blogs. If you get songbird going, you can browse around the internet while listening to some weird stuff (and save what you like). Songbird crashes alot though (still under development).
posted by BigBrownBear at 7:57 AM on May 18, 2006

Fourthing/fifthing/whatever-ing Soulseek; the trick really is to find a chatroom of like-minded people, and stick to it.

To co-opt the question: how would one go about finding an invite to Oink? I'm intrigued.
posted by ZaphodB at 8:46 AM on May 18, 2006

StickyCarpet - Right below the links to rapidshare, you should see the password for each download. In this case, "pw = posted_first_at_chocoreve"
posted by nomisxid at 9:07 AM on May 18, 2006

Depending on what you are looking for, I've found Direct Connect hubs to be a great source of obscure stuff. I've had some great luck finding tons and tons of obscure metal from around the worl that would never even be found in stores.
posted by punkrockrat at 9:44 AM on May 18, 2006

The stuff I've most wanted but couldn't find would be rare groove/soul stuff, krautrock like faust or Neu! and more obscure rap from the early 90's like a lot of the stuff on Cocaine Blunts, thanks for all the help.
posted by bigspoon at 5:31 PM on May 18, 2006

If you are looking for krautrock, then Oink is definitely a way to go. Though it has slowed down as of late, I have grabbed easily 50+ albums in the past couple of months, many of them in lossless format (Kluster, Cluster, Neu!, La! Neu?, Karl Schulze, Popol Vuh etc). Hit my profile for email and drop me a line if you want an invite.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 8:01 PM on May 18, 2006

You can browse my OPML of 350 sharity sites:

If you want more, I could share 500 regular mp3blog sites, but the sharity ones are the ones you want. Look at 8daysinapril...
posted by rickdog at 1:48 AM on June 1, 2006 [3 favorites]

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