The Web is freakishly fantastic place to listen to music. There are any number of sites from which to choose, but the two best shine in their simplicity. Whether you’re into jazz, metal, classical or rock & roll, the following websites will keep your feet tapping as long as you want them to. And the best part … they’re easy to use and 100% free. Hopefully it stays that way.
1. Pandora.com (requires e-mail signup)
There are tons of good music recommendation sites online, but none as simple as Pandora. It works like this: Type in a band you like or even a song and Pandora will start playing that music, followed by tunes with similar qualities. That’s it. Pandora will stream music – some you will already know, some will be new to you – with limited interruption. There’s a commercial every dozen songs or so, but other than that, you can just sit back and listen.
When you’re ready for a change, type in something new and Pandora will create a new “station.” You can further customize your stations by voting thumbs up or down – a thumbs up will repeat the track later on, while a thumbs down will never play that song again on that station.
Pandora also has some other cool features if you want to interact. There are band bios while a song plays, as well as album information, lyrics, suggested similar artists and more. You can bookmark artists and buy songs too.
I find Pandora particularly useful at work. Plug in your headphones and click a button and you have your day’s soundtrack. Same goes for parties, if you’re iPod is a little stale and you have a good sound system with your computer.
2. Songza.com (no registration required)
Songza is basically the Google of music. Enter a song and you’ll see a list of choices. Through community voting, usually the best recording is at or near the top of the list. But you’ll also find live recordings and video will play, if there’s one available.
Songza can’t be beat for when you wake up with that killer tune in your head and just have to hear it. Once you find it, you have a few interactive options. You can rate the recording, to influence ranking results. You can also get a link to the song, post it to your Facebook profile it, send it as a Twitter update, or e-mail it to a friend. Like Pandora, you can also buy the song.
One nice feature for you bloggers out there, is that you can embed the song or video – like you’ll see below of “Diablo Rojo” (it’s about a roller coaster) by the amazing duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. If you haven’t seen it – watch it.
If you sign up with Songza, you can also create and save playlists. You can also listen to other users’ playlists.
Two quick tips: First, try typing in the name of an artist instead of a song. You’ll get a long list of that band’s songs. Hit “play” on the first one and they will all stream back-to-back. Second, if you have trouble finding a song (which is rare) type the song and the artist in the search box. If you absolutely can’t find the song you want, head to Grooveshark.com. They have a large library, but the site is slow and a bit cumbersome.
That’s it. Two sites that should be cemented in every music fan’s browser. Enjoy.
Have your own favorite music sites? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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