For more weekly mainstream goodies, you can’t go wrong with top 40 music hit countdown charts. You may have your own top 10 songs, but charts like these may help you find that song you recently heard and liked on the radio, or just plain expose to new, catchy tunes. Hit the jump for some of the more popular sources to check the latest hits.
The Billboard magazine tracks the top songs in terms of airplay and sales (according to the Nielsen SoundScan system, which tracks products and registers music sales from stores), and presents this information for people not only residing in the US, but also in Europe. The site is also loaded with other goodies, including charts to specific criteria, such as only airplay (Hot 100 chart), genre, album sales (Billboard 200 chart), etc.
The design of the website has improved a lot over the years, thus making navigation easier and more enjoyable, as the site now offers song preview, charts archives, and even statistics on how much time a specific song has been on a chart.
You’ve perhaps noticed that almost all official celebrity music videos on YouTube are inundated with iTunes links so users can purchase the MP3s on Apple’s heavily trafficked digital media store. As users actually click on those and build the charts, the iTunes Charts get a pretty accurate picture as to which songs are doing extremely well in terms of sales. In order to keep up with the latest top 25 songs, grabbing the RSS feeds for the top 25 songs (instead of manually tracking the hits) can be a good idea.
American Top 40 [US]
This chart uses a different data provider (MediaBase) to determine the hottest and most played songs on radio stations. While this is actually a 4-hour-long countdown radio program, you can catch the summary of the songs on the official AT40 website. You can also grab the RSS feed here to simplify your life.
This neat-looking BBC Top 40 chart with the UK’s hottest mainstream songs contains useful song preview functions, as well as information on each’s song duration on the chart. Like Billboard’s site, it also has handy links to top-selling albums, but unlike it, it has fewer genre charts.
Last.FM’s Weekly Top Tracks (By User Count) & Amazon’s Best-selling MP3 (Updated Hourly)
If you’re interested in checking out more songs, do find the Sound Sunday article with links to free and legal MP3 albums every Sunday. You may definitely find something you like, and you don’t have to hunt for free songs. Where do you usually go to find songs, free or paid?
There’s bound to be plenty of regional countdown websites we missed, but are there any that you feel strongly about? If so, please share them in the comments!
Photo credit: vagawi