Help me get my music on
May 2, 2008 5:37 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a good way to fullfill my music needs

I need more music! I'm interested in indie and rock type of music. But there are two problems, first is keeping up with new music, and second is to get it. Reading all kinds of blogs and magazines can be pretty time consuming, what would be nice, is a website that would list all new releases of bands I like, which I may have entered before, and that would maybe drop in some suggestions for new bands.
Second thing is getting the music, CDs are to expensive for me as a student, so i'm mostly downloading from bittorent, if its not one of my very favorite bands. But currently bittorent isn't to perfect for me, it is hard to find the stuff I want, and then the quality is not that great. I read something about private bittorent websites, and found Indietorrents, which seems to have the music I want. But they say I need an invite, so if anyone could help there? Or suggest an other good torrent site?
The Perfect thing would be a torrent site/new music magazine, but somehow I doubt such a perfect thing exists.
posted by kall to Technology (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Emusic does some recommendations based on what bands you like. It's not a torrent site, but it's also not all that expensive.
posted by mcroft at 5:50 AM on May 2, 2008

Try this regularly updated list from Pitchfork.

You can take artists you like and plug them into Pandora or This is the most efficient way to quickly expose yourself to a lot of good music you haven't heard of. Supposedly, lets you listen to a given album free, three times, but I've never tried it.

As for keeping up with new releases from specific bands you already like, there's iLike. They have a Facebook app, which is what I use. There's one section of it that lists new releases, videos, and news from your favorite artists.

eMusic is a pay site where you can buy albums for maybe 25-30% of what you'd pay on iTunes. They have a huge selection of indie label music -- no major labels. I usually start with the 30-second clips, then look for the band's MySpace page (google "myspace" and the band name) to hear samples of a few full songs. I find that to be a pretty optimal way of discovering new music, getting to hear a few songs free (on MySpace), but supporting the artists and not breaking the law. I believe if you sign up you get a two-week trial with 25 free tracks (make sure to cancel within 2 weeks if you don't want the paid account to start up automatically).

Also, the "top places to get free and legal music."

posted by Jaltcoh at 5:57 AM on May 2, 2008 [4 favorites]

Someone's putting up monthly playlists/compilations on piratebay. Search for "indie playlist may" for the latest one. Personally I found them a bit vegetarian, but YMMV.
posted by Leon at 5:58 AM on May 2, 2008

I'm constantly faced with this problem, lately I've turned to streamripper. Leave the computer running at night/day with stream ripper going and hook up to a popular internet radio station (pop rocks on somafm for example), and the next day I have a heap of mp3s which let me sample some different and possibly very different bands. Rinse and repeat with different net radio stations.

Also try lastripper in conjunction with radio stations, does the same thing really, but you might have better chances at limiting to your tastes.
posted by chrisbucks at 6:04 AM on May 2, 2008

I also love eMusic a lot. It has its pros and cons:

• Legal! Which is a pro not so much from the, "am I going to get sued by the RIAA?" side, because you're probably not, but more from the "I can reasonably assume that the artists/labels whose music I'm downloading are going to see some money from me," side. Paying for music feels better.
• Cheap!
• High-quality mp3s.
• Once you've downloaded something, you're free to download it again as many times as you want.
• Fairly well-constructed site that's getting better all the time.

• Only one big one: although they work with lots of indie labels of all sizes, including a lot of the "major" indies, you will not find everything you're looking for there.

I always compare the eMusic experience to that of going to a much larger version of my favorite local independent record shop. There's a pretty good chance that I won't have the album I want in stock, but even if they don't I'm certain to come across a bunch of other great stuff I've never heard of or had forgotten about.

As for "a website that would list all new releases of bands I like, which I may have entered before, and that would maybe drop in some suggestions for new bands" I really like There are so many ways to find out about music there: you can do the social networking thing and see what your friends/folks with similar taste to yours are listening to. You can plug in an artist you're particularly taken with and let it suggest other stuff (which it does a better job of than, IMO). You can let it track what you've been listening to in iTunes or on your iPod (if you have an iPod set to sync with iTunes) and let it create a custom radio station for you. It's what they call "robust".

Oh, and does communities, too, including a MetaFilter community. I see everyone's jamming the new Portishead recently. It is a good record, isn't it?
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 6:49 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here's a good long-term method to find new music you like.

1. Sign up for an account at
2. Download an install the software which can, among other things, build a profile of your listening habits (Here are mine, for example).
3. This is the crucial step. With the software installed, play through your entire mp3 and/or CD collection, so that your account knows what music you like.
4. Log into your profile page (like mine) and listen to your recommendations radio. This will generate a playlist (based on increasingly smart algorithms) based on music you haven't listened to, but that other people who like what you like have - when you come across tracks you like, use the software or website to mark them as favourites, or tag them in a way that is meaningful to you.

This method isn't perfect - it'll throw up some dogs, but if you don't find a lot of songs you really like that you didn't know before, I'll eat my hat.
posted by nthdegx at 7:46 AM on May 2, 2008

3. This is the crucial step. With the software installed, play through your entire mp3 and/or CD collection, so that your account knows what music you like.

I have to disagree with this - is a lot more sophisticated than "scour my hard disc for mp3s". The best way to use it is to install it, forget about it for a month then hit your personal radio station. You'll be amazed.
posted by Leon at 8:30 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm going to be the odd one out and advocate the much-maligned Rhapsody service. I tried eMusic for a few months, but I kept feeling completely constrained by its 'X number of tracks per 30 days' model; it was too easy to forget when I was supposed to get my music. Annoyed the heck out of me.

Rhapsody lets me download unlimited quantities of music to my MP3 players, stream to my N800, and play right from my laptop, anywhere I am. There are millions of albums to choose from, and most of the stuff on the Pitchfork front page is either there immediately or within a week. I've been amazed at how much fun it is to find an artist, and then go back through their whole back catalog, then find the bands that the members came from, and go through their back catalogs, etcetera.

The software is a bit buggy, the DRM is egregious, but I've learned to work with it, and my music listening habits have never been broader.

In terms of discovery, I recommend Pandora, Last.FM, and I really like The Onion AV Club for reviews.

Thanks for the iLike tip, JaltCoh. I think I'll have fun with that one.
posted by MrVisible at 8:56 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Owning music is soooo 20th century. Not only is it expensive, but you should be able to get everything you need from the radio and web-streaming, which are becoming increasingly specialized. Then you can spend your money on live concerts.

If you need to hear a song right away you can plug it in to Songerize. If you want to expand your musical horizons, I strongly second (or third) the suggestion to sign up for and And once you have done that, you should really combine them with the mashup. I'm constantly recommending this thing on metafilter, and I think I'm the only person who knows about it. It adds the songs you hear on pandora to your account, which kills two birds with one stone.
posted by billtron at 10:32 AM on May 2, 2008

Or suggest an other good torrent site?

Pleas don't use AskMe for suggestions on breaking (skirting) the law.
posted by General Malaise at 1:07 PM on May 2, 2008

Metacritic has given me an untold amount of happiness this past semester. They have a news feed for music only which is timely and appreciated, and covers mostly indie rock, but also some electronic, some country, some rap/r&b. Whenever there's an album 80+, there's a very good chance I'll like them. 85+ is pure gold. I guess one potential downside of using the ambiguously aggregated ratings of a dozen sites/magazines is that you'll be raving about it a month later than anyone else... but it's that or nothing for me.

Pandora hasn't been so useful for me--it seems to take my passive acceptance of live Lenny Kravitz tracks to mean that I wish I could listen to them all the time. But has been useful for me to characterize my own listening habits.

There are websites that specialize in providing legal tracks to listen to, if that's enough to satiate you--Hype Machine comes up a lot in searches. Of course there are also blogs out there that cover whole albums and bulletin boards that like to discuss new releases.

Before I found the perfection that is MC, I listened to (I left because it seemed to be getting too "vegetarian"--great description Leon!!), and Rice radio's KTRU
posted by gensubuser at 8:38 PM on May 2, 2008

I second Metafilter and Hype Machine. I usually visit the former and see which bands are popular and then go to hype machine to listen to the band. Extra bonus (if you are comfortable doing so) - in Hype Machine you can click on "read full post" after the song and go to the actual blog and download the song you were listening to, or just read about the band...
posted by jaseaco at 10:11 PM on May 2, 2008

"I have to disagree with this - is a lot more sophisticated than "scour my hard disc for mp3s". The best way to use it is to install it, forget about it for a month then hit your personal radio station. You'll be amazed."

I disagree. If you're looking for quick results, what you suggest will work, but work less well. Doing this you're asking to match you up on more limited data. I might listen to Boards of Canada and Radiohead for a month. Loads and loads of people listen to these bands, and I'll be recommended some nonsense. Play through my collection and it knows I also like Ugly Duckling and Steve Reich - it's going to make much smarter recommendations on the basis of now being able to find the specific people with much more similar tastes.

Of course, you don't have to listen to the music you scrobble, but I do recommend that your get your catalogue in there.
posted by nthdegx at 12:56 AM on May 3, 2008

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