There’s a lot of music out there—services such as Spotify boast more than 30 million tracks—with new songs and albums dropping every week. So how do you cut through the noise? Here are six places you can find new music to suit your tastes, based on what you’re already interested in.
This is a quick and easy one. Load up one of your favorite tracks on YouTube, and check out the recommended list of tracks and playlists down the right (you can even queue them up effortlessly with the Autoplay option). Of course, as you listen to more stuff, you’ll get better recommendations on the front page of YouTube as well.
As you may have heard, YouTube is expanding on this functionality with its new YouTube Music app. If you stump up for the $10-a-month YouTube Red subscription plan, the app gives you personalized Pandora-style radio stations that learn your tastes and give you tailored recommendations (all without ads as well).
Last.fm continues to soldier on in this brave new world of on-demand music streaming (it now offers some clever Spotify integrations), and it remains the best place to track your listening history across multiple devices and apps (iTunes, Spotify, Windows, Mac, etc). Once you’ve ‘scrobbled’ enough tracks, you get some intelligent suggestions for new music.
It would be a shame if Last.fm fell victim to the in-house recommendation engines now offered by the big names in digital music, as it can prove very useful for those who are always jumping between platforms and music apps. You don’t actually have to sign up or do any scrobbling to get recommendations, just click on an artist or search for a song.
A place to share and discover playlists, 8tracks gives you a number of ways to discover new music—you can either have a browse through some of the recently uploaded playlists on the front page, or use the search box at the top to look for particular genres you like. Artists and mood tags help you dive deeper into the content that 8tracks has to offer.
You can browse playlists by uploader too, so if you come across someone with particularly fine taste in tunes, then you can see what else they’ve been liking, favoriting, and collecting on the platform. To add to the appeal there are mobile apps for all the popular devices.
Shuffler.fm is based around online radio stations, stations curated by DJs, bloggers, music editors, and more. It’s one of the best ways of eschewing the algorithm-driven approach to find music picked by actual human beings. It requires some extra effort in terms of digging around, but you can often make better discoveries as a result.
If you’re a little bewildered about who to start trusting with your music recommendations, then you can browse by genre instead. Pick out one of your favorite types of music and Shuffer.fm literally shuffles you through a series of blogs and sites to bring you fresh tunes in your chosen category.
If you want something basic and stripped down, then give Gnoosic a go. It’s based around a more comprehensive recommendation called Gnod and it asks you to start the process by suggesting three bands you’re already into. After that, you can rate the bands that appear (if you’ve already heard of them) and get a neat summary at the end.
There’s no advanced tracking of your tracking and no built-in streaming or anything like that, but if you just want something that can throw up a few new band names for you (without the need to even sign in) then Gnoostic fits the bill neatly enough. Sometimes less is more if you already have dozens of music apps and services cluttering up your life.
Your music app of choice
Every music app worth its salt comes with a discovery engine of its own these days, picking out new tracks for you based on what you’ve already listened to. Remember you can often tweak these recommendations further by starring or rating songs that you particularly enjoy—in Google Play Music, for example, you can give tracks a thumbs up or down.
Apple Music has the ubiquitous heart icon which you can find next to just about every album, song, artist and playlist, while Spotify lets you follow other people with similar tastes as well as serving up a Discover playlist every week. Spend more time telling your music service of choice what you’re actually enjoying and your recommendations should improve, too.