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There was a time when you could keep track of new music releases by checking in at your local record store, but we live in a different world now. Apple’s iTunes alone offers over 28 million different songs you can purchase, and there are a huge amount of different bands. With access to a much wider world of music, everyone seems to have their own tastes and their own favorite artists.

You’ve already found bands and artists you love — but how are you going to know when they release new music albums? You could keep an eye on each band’s website, but that takes too much precious time you could be using for other things.

Streaming Music Service Notifications

If you’re using an all-you-can-listen-to music streaming service like Spotify or Rdio Spotify vs. Rdio: A Complete Comparison Spotify vs. Rdio: A Complete Comparison I recently cancelled my Spotify Premium membership after a year of uninterrupted monthly payments to the company. This decision came about when I accidentally signed up for 14-days of free Rdio Unlimited. Quite frankly, I... Read More , your service likely has built-in alerts for new releases of artists you already listen to. For example, Rdio will show you notifications for new releases by artists you’ve added music from to your collection.

There’s one big limitation here: You’ll only see alerts when the music is added for streaming on the service. In other words, you’ll see alerts for old albums that are made available for streaming, but you won’t be alerted to new releases until they’re available for streaming on your service of choice. You may not hear about a new release until a few weeks or months after it’s released. This may be a blessing in disguise if you only want to stream music for casual listening and aren’t particular about release dates. But then, you may also be annoyed that you missed the latest album from your favorite band for months.

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Dedicated Websites with Email & RSS Alerts

There are many different websites that will send you emails when your favorite artists release new music. Try Album Reminder, TuneViper, or muspy. Some of these services also offer alerts via RSS, so you can learn of new albums in your RSS reader of choice.  And, of course, you can also check the website itself to see a list of recent album releases from the list of artists you give to the website.

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Some services also offer bonus features. For example, TuneViper will also email you when one of your favorite artists is coming to your town for a concert. Album Reminder even allows you to import a list of artists from your iTunes library, so you can get up and running quickly.

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iTunes Alerts

iTunes Get The Most Out Of iTunes 11 With These 10 Tips Get The Most Out Of iTunes 11 With These 10 Tips A few of these tips are work-arounds for features Apple left out in iTunes 11, like iTunes DJ, while others point out a few new handy features you might overlook. iTunes is not a perfect... Read More also has an integrated alerts system for new music releases. If you enable it, you’ll receive an email when new music from artists you listen to is released on iTunes. If you’ve purchased music on iTunes, you’ll receive alerts for new music from the artists you’ve purchased from and from artists you already have in your iTunes music library.

To configure alerts, click the name of your account in iTunes and select Account. Scroll down on the Account Information page and click the Manage link to the right of Alert Me.

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Configure your alert settings on this page. iTunes will send email alerts to the email address associated with your account.

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Smartphone Alerts via Google Now

You may also want to look at setting up alerts on your smartphone. For example, Android’s Google Now Top 12 Jelly Bean Tips For A New Google Tablet Experience Top 12 Jelly Bean Tips For A New Google Tablet Experience Android Jelly Bean 4.2, initially shipped on the Nexus 7, provides a great new tablet experience that outshines previous versions of Android. It even impressed our resident Apple fan. If you have a Nexus 7,... Read More  allows you to set up reminders for your favorite music artists. Search for a music artist on Google from your smartphone and you’ll see a Remind Me button on Google’s knowledge graph An In-Depth Look At Google's New Knowledge Graph An In-Depth Look At Google's New Knowledge Graph Read More panel. Tap it and you’ll receive alerts via Google Now for new music from the band. This also works for TV shows, movie actors, filmmakers, and authors. This feature appears to only be available in the US at the moment, but it will hopefully roll out internationally soon.

We wouldn’t be surprised to also see this feature make its way to the Google Search app for iPhone and iPad, which includes Google Now Google Search For iOS Updates, Brings Google Now To Your iPhone, iPad, Or iPod Touch [Updates] Google Search For iOS Updates, Brings Google Now To Your iPhone, iPad, Or iPod Touch [Updates] Google has updated its basic Search app for iOS with Google Now integration, the company's personal digital assistant. Initially released as part of Android 4.1, Google Now is finally available for both major mobile operating... Read More .

More Options

Sure, you could also follow the artist on Twitter, subscribe to their blog’s RSS feed, or even regularly check websites that list all the music albums released recently The 4 Best Websites To Check Out New Music Releases First The 4 Best Websites To Check Out New Music Releases First Read More — but you’ll see a lot of noise and this will quickly become time-consuming if you want to keep track of quite a few different music artists. The options above will sift through the noise for you, sending you only new music releases that you may be interested in.

How do you keep track of the latest music from the artists you love? Leave a comment below, especially if you prefer using another method!

Image Credit: Incase on Flickr

  1. Elliott Perry
    October 20, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    This thread ranks highly on Google so I thought I’d give visitors an update since Album Reminder is no more and Artist Radar got acquired and discontinued their previous service: Soundcatch (http://www.soundcatch.co/) offers real-time music release alerts for the albums and singles of your favourite artists. You can tell it's a new-age startup from the website design so it should be good, free for life if you invite 5 friends too

  2. Alexey Kazarinov
    May 26, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Thanks! Another service - http://www.getreleases.net It quickly sends free email notifications about new albums and singles. Very simple and friendly interface and 10 seconds signup - via social networks.

  3. AppFreak
    February 27, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Great article, thanks! I have been using the iPhone app ARTIST RADAR and I am very satisfied. It alerts not only about new music releases but also new movies, ebooks, audiobooks, music videos.

    http://www.artist-radar.com

  4. Zuzelka
    November 10, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Super article!

    I give you my 5 cents about it. I used free app on iTunes: Alerter http://alerterapp.mobi/download for getting notifications about new releases of my favourite artists.

    It works pretty good, recently I got push notification about new album of Keane in next 2 hours after it appeared on iTunes. I think it so fast =)

  5. Bruce E
    September 26, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Some record labels will send notifications when their signed artists are in the studio, have new releases out, stream exclusive content either from the studio or from the new album, etc. This is how I keep up-to-date with everything Dream Theater and Airbourne (Roadrunner Records). The official sites of some of the artists will do the same thing (AD/DC, Trans-Siberian Orchestra).

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