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How-To Geek

What You Said: How You Discover New Media

New books, movies, and albums come out at an ever faster pace–how can you dig through it all to find the gems? Read on to see how your fellow readers discover new media to enjoy.

Despite the influx of digital tool for finding media, analog methods like word of mouth and check out stores remain popular. Alex M. sticks to word of mouth for most things, but loves a good digital music recommendation:

Friends recommendations for movies and TV shows

Last.fm for music, it really recommends me what I’ll like for sure :)

Chronno S. Trigger also likes digital music recommendations, but with a catch:

I use to listen to Pandora a lot, but with this ongoing crap with the RIAA and MPAA, I just don’t go looking for new media any more.

That triggered a dialog with Steve-O-Rama agreeing:

@Chronno S. Trigger I’m in a similar camp. Ever since the first Napster fiasco, I haven’t bought a single album or movie; almost all of the media I own is second-hand, downloaded, rips, and/or on vinyl or tape; exceptions are for things that aren’t mass-produced. Speaking of Napster, after Lars couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and basically alienated everyone that ever downloaded anything, I burned (as in ‘set fire to’) all of my Metallica merchandise.

I typically rely upon YouTube and similar (FREE) services, mostly because of the ‘social buffer’ they offer. In other words, if a song or music video is really good OR really bad, it’s going to get a lot of comments and voting. For instance, compare the views, comments, and the like/dislike bars of two very disparate videos on YouTube: Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” versus (ugh) Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. Using those as a guide, along with reading comments, I can then determine whether it’s worth the time and effort to seek out similar material by the same artist(s), or possibly find a new direction from the suggested videos listed.

It’s very hard to find ‘new’ media since my tastes vary widely, e.g. Mozart, Led Zeppelin, Ricky Skaggs, Dean Martin, and Soundgarden, sometimes all in the same car ride. :)

They certainly weren’t the only ones concerned about the antics of the RIAA. Tom writes:

I’ve taken to listening to a lot of the free music on Amazon MP3. Just go to Amazon.com and look for the “Free music from rising artists” link. I get several bonuses out of this; I find great artists and bands that I have never heard of before, I don’t have to pay anything for it, and the music industry lawyers don’t get to sue me. :-)

This all seems to beg for a shirt that says “I love music, please don’t sue me.”

Check out the full comments thread for more tips, tricks, and services to check out. Have a discovery tool or service you’ve had good luck with? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

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Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/2/12

Comments (9)

  1. Brian

    I think what it says is, “I want to listen to music, but I don’t want to pay for it.”

  2. chris

    “I like Mozart and Led Zeppelin. I’m so eclectic.”

  3. LadyFitzgerald

    There is nothing wrong or illegal with what Tom is doing. Amazon legitimately offers many free mp3 downloads, mostly garbage and some samplers but there are a few gems in there, especially if one has eclectic tastes.

  4. TheFu

    I listen to Dad’s reel-to-reel tape collection to discover new musak.

  5. Riddle

    just use hxxp://www.downloads.nl/mp3.html

  6. ICYTAZ

    If you find the music you like comes from a particular record label try following them. I like Ninja tunes and Ninja cuts. I find I like a lot of there artist or collaborators like Cold Cut and DJ Shadow. Then I also use http://soundcloud.com a lot as another artist/s I like posts free downloads on there. Mr Scruff. But I find loads of artist this way from Propellerheads, Unkle and Bonobo. But then again I have around 80 GB of music by offering my music collection in return for copying off someone else. At the end of the day the whole world is lining its pocket of the back of everyone else. Capitalism in its true form. So I really don’t worry about copying music as I buy loads of CD’s weekly. When multimillion pound companies stop feeding of the poorer of society and also stop handing their tax’s under the table I might start to get concerned? As for the smaller record labels I buy enough Cd’s to balance the books.

  7. Paulo

    Check out http://betterpropaganda.com/ I have been a fan of them for years!

  8. Deez

    Re: Chronno S. Trigger’s comment featured in the article… how would simply listening to Pandora bring on the wrath of the RIAA / MPAA? (Unless he/she is suggesting that whenever they hear something on Pandora that they like, the next step is to go out and illegally obtain it… ?)

  9. Emily

    I’ve used WeAreHunted.com a few times, once I realized a lot of newer artists I liked (Citizen Twilight, A Fine Frenzy, Adele, Maria Taylor)were offering free tracks on there. Pandora’s good for streaming, and I also note songs in new TV shows by their lyrics, then google them to see who the artists is and whether I like anything there is to sample out there for free. I also use the Starbucks free downloads and the iTunes free music on a monthly basis.

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