Our hunger for tunes has yet to get saturated. In fact, in spite of being a tech site in feel and color we too have a weekly feature called Sound Sunday. It’s a humble little place to discover fresh sounds for free.
Sound Sunday is just one of the specks in the cosmos of music discovery. There are umpteen ways and each link you click will take you in new directions.
But if you are planning to lose your way in the musical maze, why not use a few music search engines or read a few music blogs? The web tools mentioned here are in no way an absolute list; but they can point you towards the sources for music, musicians, and bands. So let’s hit it.
Fimusy (beta) is a new music search engine that helps you find information on bands and the songs they play. It brings all the information on a single page. You can go through a brief profile, video snapshots, photos (wallpapers, CD covers etc), and tracks which can be streamed. You can go on to buy the tracks and albums from iTunes or Amazon.
There’s also a user voting system which helps to rank favorite artists and bands on the homepage. Check out the Top lists on the right.
BandFreaks is a music search engine, but it is for searching out new and unsigned bands. It could be a great way to search for and sample emerging artists.
With unknown musicians, a keyword query is difficult. Three dropdowns help you to narrow down the kind of music you would like to listen to. The results are a mix of a brief introduction and a link that leads you to pages where you can listen to their music. And get to know them better.
SongBoxx is a music meta-search engine that is an index of 7,000,000 tracks. The site does not host or directly stream any music. The search results come up pretty fast. Song previews (mp3 or video) if available for the track can be accessed. The audio previews are of low quality. You can go on to purchase the songs from accredited stores. An advanced search service is expected soon for the music website.
LivePlasma (formerly MusicPlasma) is a fun way of discovering music (and movies). The fun is in the bubbles that come up and map your query to related artists and bands. The site uses the Amazon API to create all the interrelated information.
It’s casual fun although I found that the links that point to the discographies on Amazon are broken. The ones for the movies work.
Mix Turtle is a music search engine that we have covered before. Try it out again as it isn’t as slow as the hard-backed reptile.
The single search box and the auto-suggest feature that drops down help you to start your search for song and singer. You can add songs to your playlist or preview the clips. If one of the sources does not work, you can move to another. Clicking on the red Live button on top also reveals the songs that are being played at that moment.
Audiobaba (beta) finds songs that sound similar to the one you put in as the query. The idea behind the acoustic search of Audiobaba’s search engine is to discover new songs by matching it to the ones you like to hear. You can listen to the sample previews, and if you like them, you can purchase them at Amazon or iTunes.
Hear a song you like and add it to your bookmarks or favorites. You can also filter the matches with a slider to show tracks that are mainstream, normal, or independent.
The Hype Machine is one of the top ranked musical blog aggregators. It indexes blogs and the song files they host and makes it searchable, so you can read as well as listen. The slick toolbar at the bottom should catch your attention as you can do it all with a click.
Check out the zeitgeist section and the visual artwork plus the top tracks collection. The Spy section is like a real time feed of the songs people are voting up. It also helps that the music site is beautifully designed.
Here’s another one which could just complete your reading and listening treat. Elbows is another beautifully done blog. You can follow the music blog posts and discover new “old” artists and their music files. As is usual with most blogs, watch the Hot Tracks and Hot Videos lists.
AllMusic.com is not a music search engine. But if you want one music guide for your bookmark, this is it. It is a great reference for everything that’s about music. Artists and their music are catalogued in detail. The little snapshot below tells you the ways you can search for the music you love.
The other little number is that the human capital behind the site includes 900 music critics who are on top of their job and what’s going on in the music industry.
Also, try out their Advanced Search that drills down to the music in a series of dropdowns. The site also provides a Firefox add-on, but I think you can give this add-on a miss and take the next one on our list.
All this while you have been opening another tab and typing in your search query. FindThatBand is a Firefox add-on that reduces that effort to a matter of selecting the text and right-clicking. The music add-on taps into Allmusic, Amazon, Discogs, Grooveshark, iLike, iTunes, LastFM, MySpace, Pandora, The Hype Machine, or Wikipedia. If you are a music freak, this little add-on is a great search accelerator.
Image Credit: Max Sparber