How to Find New Music

Five Methods:Finding Music with SpotifyDiscovering New Music on PandoraFinding New Music through iTunesFinding New Music with BandcampDiscovering New Music with Shazam

Have you reached a point where you've listened to that album or song just a few too many times and are ready for something different? There are so many genres of music and new artists and albums, and sometimes it can be overwhelming to search for new music, or it can just be difficult to know where to start. There are also numerous music websites, apps, and services that allow you to listen to music for free, but by visiting just a few sites, you should be able to find new music that you love.

Method 1
Finding Music with Spotify

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    Get a spotify username. To begin using their service, spotify requires you to sign up, but it is fairly easy. Go to their website and choose between "play free" or "premium" (premium allows you to listen to music with no commercials and download songs to your phone so you can listen to your music even when you don't have service). Then, you can sign up with Facebook or with your email address and you can begin to listen to music.
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    Download Spotify to your computer or use their web player. Spotify has several different options for listening to music. You can download their program on your computer, which allows you stay logged in permanently, or you can visit the Spotify online web player (this runs similarly to the program on your computer).
    • You can also download the spotify app to your tablet or phone. With this app you can still listen to music free, but you won't be able to select individual songs -- you will just be able to shuffle whole albums or playlists, which may make it difficult to discover new music.
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    Visit artists you like. To begin your search for new music, it can always be helpful to start off with artists you already like. On the spotify player, you can type in your favorite artists in the search bar and you can click on some of their albums or the artist themself. To find new artists, its helpful if you visit the actual artist's page.
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    View the related artists. Spotify has created a function that allows you to check out artists that are similar to the artists you already like, which can be beneficial when you are trying to discover new music. The "Related Artists" link is on the right side of the page, next to the "popular music." It usually displays the top seven artists like the one you are listening to, but if you click on the link, you will be directed to a page with 20 other artists.[1]
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    Use the browse function. Spotify has also created a page that gives you the option to browse different genres, new releases, music in the top of the charts, and even has a discover page. Each of these pages gives you the option to find new music, either by trying out different genres or going with Spotify's suggestions. Click the "Browse" like in the top left corner of your Spotify page to explore new music.[2]
    • Charts: Within the browse option, this page allows you to look at music that is ranked in the top 50 in the country. You can check out music from America, or from all over the world. You can also visit the "Viral 50 by Country" page, which allows you to see what songs are ranked in the top 50 of each country.
    • Genres and Moods: This page is helpful if you are feeling in a certain mood or looking for a certain genre, but don't have an idea of specific artists to look for. Spotify has created a number of genres and moods like "Chill," "Workout," "Jazz," "Travel," etc. as well as creating playlists within each of those categories for even more specificity. For example, within the "Chill" category a few of the playlists are "Your Favorite Coffeehouse," "Stress Relief," and "Autumn Leaves." Within the "Jazz" category one of the playlists is "This is: Frank Sinatra." In the categories that are more genre based rather than mood based, Spotify has listed a number of well known or popular artists and albums within that genre.
    • New Releases: What better way to find new music than by checking out the new releases? This page consists of music that was recently released. It is not grouped by any specific genre or category, so you'll have to do some sifting to find music.
    • Discover: This page is uniquely created for you as a user, and is improved more and more by the amount of time you spend on Spotify listening to music. Spotify has several different categories like "Top Recommendations for You," "New Releases for You," "Because you listened to..." and "Suggested for You Based on..." Essentially, Spotify is able to take the music you listen to and find similar artists or genres that you might like so that you can explore new music.
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    Visit a friend's page. Spotify carries a social media aspect to it, in that you can add friends and view their pages to see what music they are listening to. If you know of a certain friend who shares similar music taste with you, then visit their page by searching for their name in the search bar. You should be able to see music they have recently listened to, playlists they have created, and artists and other friends they are following.[3]

Method 2
Discovering New Music on Pandora

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    Create an account. To use Pandora, you can listen without an account, but it won't store any of your music the next time you visit it, so it's helpful to create an account so you can save stations.
    • With Pandora you can also choose between a free account and a paid account. The paid account essentially allows you to listen to music without commercials or advertisements.
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    Create new stations based on an artist or song. One way to discover new music on Pandora is by creating new stations and liking or disliking certain songs as they play. You can create a station based on an artist or track, and then Pandora will play music similar to that artist or track.
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    Personalize your station. As you listen to music, the best way to discover new music is by personalizing your station. When a song comes on that you like, click the "thumbs-up" icon at the top of the screen and when you dislike a song click the "thumbs-down" icon. This will help Pandora play songs that are more suited to your taste.
    • Each time a new song plays, Pandora will also show similar artists to that song. As you are listening to music, you may discover some new artists or songs by clicking on one of those similar artists.
    • After you have listened to a station you can also go back to that station and edit the artists and tracks you have liked or disliked. On the left side of the screen where your stations are displayed, you can click on the "Options" button underneath a station. Then click on "Station Details," and you'll be brought to a page that shows your thumbed-up and thumbed-down tracks. If you are tired of certain songs or want more variety you can delete some of those tracks so that the variety of music played on that station will be broader.
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    Browse genres. In Pandora you can also browse playlists and genres that Pandora has already created. In the top left corner, click in the search bar. A white box that gives you instructions should come up as well as a link within that box that says "Browse Genres." Click on that link to view the different genres and stations.
    • Pandora has a number of stations within each genre, suited for the type of music you are interested in or the mood your are feeling. You can view their top stations, for music that is popular, or you can visit their other categories that consist of a number of genres with different stations within the genres.
    • There are certain categories that aren't necessarily a genre like "Classical," but are more of a mood, like "Dinner/Cooking," "Studying," and "Workout." Within these categories you have different stations that Pandora has created. For example, within "Dinner/Cooking" there are different stations like "Hipster Cocktail Party," "Laid Back Brunch," Funny Feast Comedy," all with songs that are suited for that type of meal.

Method 3
Finding New Music through iTunes

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    Download iTunes to your computer or phone. In order to access the music on iTunes, you'll need to run it on your computer or as an app on your phone. Then, you can create an Apple account and log in. Your songs and purchases will then be stored on iTunes for later use.
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    Use the radio function. Just like on many music players, iTunes has a radio that allows you to search for a genre, artist, or album and iTunes will play songs similar to the item you searched. This is a good way to find new music if you aren't sure where to start and just have a general idea of the type of music you are interested in.[4]
    • To find this function, open your iTunes page. On the top of the page in the center there should be a white bar that displays options for you to choose from like "My Music," "For You," "Radio," and a few others. Once you click on the radio option, iTunes will pull up their featured stations as well as a number of other stations you can choose from.
    • To personalize your station, as songs are played you can like and dislike certain songs. Move your cursor to the top of the page where it shows what song is playing and an ellipsis icon should appear. Click on that icon and you will see a few options, one of which is "Play More Like This" and another is "Never Play This Song." You can also purchase songs straight from iTunes by clicking on the price next to the song that is being played.
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    Visit the "New" page. If you are looking for new music, you can visit this page to discover music that has recently been released or the top artists, albums, and songs. Apple lists "Hot Tracks," "New Music," "Top Songs," "Recent Releases" and many other options suited to helping you find new music.
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    Visit the iTunes store. This may seem obvious, but a great place to find new music is just by checking out songs on the iTunes store. You can listen to a preview of a song before you decide to buy it, or you can add the song to your wishlist for later listening.
    • The iTunes store is much like the "New" page in that it lists top tracks, new music, and a number of genres to choose from.

Method 4
Finding New Music with Bandcamp

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    Create an account. Band camp is a great way to discover new artists and music that aren't always at the top of the charts. In order to create an account you'll need to first buy music or support an artist. The great thing about band camp is that many of the artists give away their music for free, so you can search for a free album or song and then you'll be able to create an account.
    • Josh Garrels often gives away his music for free with no minimum purchase amount (a donation is recommended) and there are other artists like this on Bandcamp that allow you to download their album without paying anything.[5]
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    Visit the Bandcamp home page. This is the page where you will find a lot of the trending artists, new albums, and fan spotlight (recent favorites from artists, fans, and special guests). On the home page you should also see a "Discover" section which lists albums from different genres.[6]
    • In the discover section, you can choose the genre, the date (today, this week, last week, 2 weeks ago, ect.) and then decide between best-selling, staff picks, new arrivals, and artist recommended. By clicking on an album, Bandcamp will automatically start playing one of the songs from the album, and then you have the option to listen to more of the album by clicking on the "Hear More" link below the song that is being played. You can also choose to "Buy Now" or put the song on your wishlist, which will require an account.
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    Follow your favorite artists. Whenever artists you like put out new music, you can automatically be notified by Bandcamp by following the artist on their home page. This requires an account, but it's great because it allows you to keep track of new and upcoming music. Bandcamp may also notify you via email of concerts from the artist you are following that are located in your area.
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    Discover new music on your newsfeed. With Bandcamp you can follow your favorite artists, but you can also follow other fans too. On your newsfeed you should see the activity of your followed fans and artists. You can listen to any music they have listened to, and you can also find "recommended fans" (people who have a shared taste in music with you that Bandcamp suggests you could follow).[7]
    • The difference between Bandcamp and something like iTunes is you have unlimited access to music, meaning you can listen to the full length of a song before you buy it. Bandcamp also features alternative, indie, rock, and folk music as their primary music so you're likely going to get a different variety of music selection than you would through a popular music streaming app.
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    Create a collection of music. This can be done after you have created an account by adding music to your wishlist and purchasing music from artists. You then have access to your collection through the Bandcamp app or their website. You can also re-download purchases, which allows you to recover music that you may have lost.[8]
    • To re-download purchases you can visit your music collection and click "Download" below the album or track you want to listen to. Even if you have already downloaded the album before, Bandcamp lets you re-download it, which is nice if you lost the music.

Method 5
Discovering New Music with Shazam

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    Download the Shazam app. One of the best features of Shazam is their app, which allows you to identify songs played on the radio (or through anything else that plays music) to help you discover new music. The app is available for Apple or Android phones and can also be connected to your apple or google watch.
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    Identify new music. To use the Shazam app, anytime you hear a new song that you are interested in, open up the Shazam app and press "Touch to Shazam." Shazam will then listen to the song and identify it. Then, you'll have the option to purchase the song, or be directed to a page where Shazam shows the lyrics to the song, allows you to start a station with the song, and recommends other songs similar to the song.
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    Explore tracks. On the home page of the app, you can explore top tracks from around the world and see what artists have Shazamed recently, which may help you discover new music. You can also see trending Shazams and will have the opportunity to follow the artist, watch the music video, listen to other recommended songs, or listen to the song for free on the "Rdio" function of the app.[9]
    • To see trending Shazams you can also visit the "Trending" page and you will have access to the top trending tracks in a number of different genres. You can also see what was just Shazamed on the app by other users.
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    Sign up or log in for more features. On the "My Shazam" page of your app, you can see all of the songs you have Shazamed, but you can also log in or create an account for more features. By creating an account you can connect to Spotify and Rdio and have access to all of the artists you are following.[10]
    • You can do all of these same features on the Shazam website as well, but the app may functionally be easier if you are trying to discover new music on your phone.

Article Info

Categories: Music Listening and Appreciation