Music isn’t dead. In fact, I’d wager that more music is being created now than any time in human history. Sure, record companies aren’t making as much money as they used to, but that’s not stopping passionate musicians from doing what they love.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of music out there, finding a few great places that compile and play music for you is really useful. One uses existing radio stations to create commercial-free playlists; another integrates with Reddit to show you new music. All of them make it easier for you to discover new music, much like radio did for you back in the day. Let’s get started.
Recast.fm: Your Favorite Radio Stations, Without the Ads
If you love the music mix of particular radio stations, but hate the constant commercials, Recast is designed for you. This service scrapes the playlists from radio station websites, then compiles them into a playlist you can listen to.
The result is a “radio station” with just the music – the commercials and filler content aren’t included. You’ll need a Spotify or Rdio account to use this, but once you’ve logged into one service or the other everything happens in your browser.
Free Music Archive: A Legal Music Download Site You’ll Actually Like
If you think music should be free, here’s a good site for finding artists who agree with you. Free Music Archive aims to regularly point out great music that you can download free of charge, and in some cases even use for your creative projects.
New songs and albums are pointed out every couple of days, and you can download songs directly from the site. The focus isn’t just on free music, though: curators try to ensure only good music shows up on the site. You might not like everything you find, but it’s certainly all of a particular quality.
Sometimes you’ll find an entire album; sometimes you’ll find just a single track. Sometimes music is licensed for free downloads; sometimes you’ll be able to use it in other projects. There are other sites for finding creative commons music, but this one seems focused on pointing out only the cream of the crop. Explore and let us know if you find anything you like.
Staytu.be: Full-Length Concerts on YouTube
Watch full concerts without leaving your desk. Staytu.be is a website that compiles all sorts of full concerts from YouTube, giving you a one-stop site to find them. Just start scrolling until you find something you like.
Concerts make for great partial distractions, especially if you have a multi-monitor setup: work on one, occasionally glance at the other. We’ve shown you where to download free, legal concerts, but with Staytu.be you don’t need to download anything. Just find something you like, then enjoy it.
Music Player for Reddit: Listen to What Reddit’s Talking About
Reddit users deliver the best of the web, which is why so many services use its recommendations in interesting ways. Reddit TV compiles web videos, for example, making it a great tool for finding the latest viral videos.
Music Player For Reddit hopes to do the same thing, but for music. With it you can listen to Reddit’s top music recommendations in a playlist, meaning it’s easy to hit “play” and simply enjoy the music.
You can pick a subreddit to listen to, or hear all of the top-rated songs from all subreddits – it’s up to you. If you already follow a few music subreddits religiously, this is a must-know tool. If you’ve never heard of Reddit in your life, it’s still worth checking out.
JazzAndRain: The Ultimate Get Work Done Combo
There’s something just plain relaxing about rain sounds that makes it easier to focus. Combine that rain with jazz, though, and you’ve got no excuse to not calm down and start getting things done. Jazz And Rain does exactly what it says: supplies you with rain sounds and jazz music. The result is soothing, perfect if you’re feeling anxious.
The cool jazz and the rain sounds are almost enough to help me ignore the heat of this Colorado summer. Almost.
Somehow I missed this site while I was compiling nature background sounds, but I’m glad we could fit it in here. It won’t be for everyone, but it might work for you.
What Music Sites Did I Miss?
This column tries to point out sites and apps MakeUseOf has never featured before, meaning many already famous services like Spotify and Pandora aren’t mentioned here. Still, I’d love to hear which services you like to use for listening to music online – and downloading it, for that matter. Let’s compile some services in the comments below, okay?