How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: How Do You Discover New Media?

We’re awash in new movies, books, television shows, albums, and other media. How do you dig through it all and find the media you’ll enjoy?

There’s not enough time to check out everything shiny and new so this week we’re interested in hearing about how you drill down through the mountains of available books, music, and more, to find the gems you’ll really enjoy. Whether you use digital recommendation tools, traditional best seller lists, or everything or nothing in between, we want to hear about it.

Sound off in the comments with your tips and tricks for discovering new movies, tracks, and books to enjoy.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/29/12

Comments (33)

  1. Rickles and friends.

    Occasionally garageband too.

  2. Rickles

    BTW – can we get that image in a wallpaper size? =)

  3. Alex M

    Friends recommendations for movies and TV shows for music, it really recommends me what I’ll like for sure :)

  4. moteur.diesel

    for music,

    Navigating via tags, cities, … starting from bands you already known. Shame it’s not that accessible on their site.

  5. Bugalugs

    Definately word of mouth for me…

  6. tim

    The only radio station worth listening to is Triple J. Non-commercial, Richard Kingsmill is an encyclopedia of bands old and new. Like a Version and Take 5 provides insight into the artist’s influences. And you have movie reviews by Marc Fennell (That Movie Guy). And so much more. Non Aussies have to stream it in the internet.

  7. Chronno S. Trigger

    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.

  8. LadyFitzgerald

    For music, it’s word of mouth, actual performances, movie soundtracks, etc.

    Movies from trailers and viewers’ reviews.

    Books from word of mouth, picking up freebies, ads, reviews, etc.

  9. PhantomTurtle

    Usually friends recommendations for movie’s, tv shows, music, etc. I usually discover music when I hear on the radio. But for me its mostly just stuff my friends recommend.

  10. Allan

    I usually go to amazon and download the free music

  11. Steve-O-Rama

    @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. :)

  12. Tony

    New books: Goodreads, browsing the shelfs where they house books, and jotting down anything interesting that happens to be getting plugged in interviews on talk shows.

    New movies: Scanning through Netflix’s library. Often times just pulling up a film with a bad rating and going with it. Other times I just start a chain by pulling up a movie, getting the recommedations, queing a recommended movie and getting another set of recommendations so I can repeat the process.

    New music: I don’t seek it out. If I hear something I like, I make a note of it and then jump on Spotify, etc to find more by that artist. If I like what I hear, I seed a station with the artist(s).

  13. sjobs


  14. Mat

    Personally, my favorite music discovery website is
    I think that hundreds of reader submitted reviews and ratings paint a clearer picture than one (or five) critic reviews.

  15. Stijn V

    Three words: private bittorrent trackers

  16. Stijn V

    Oh, that’s for digital media of course. For analogue music I like to buy second hand or new items @ or sometimes in local record shops…

  17. Sal Aparo

    Movies: – fantastic movie genome project with great recommendations based upon genres, moods, plots, etc.

    Music: – combines multiple review scores into, well a meta score

  18. Odin

    passthepopcorn for movies
    soundcloud for music

  19. Johnny 5

    Pandora plays a good mix of music although it normally does not play music that I have never heard. Back when MySpace was new it was a great place to find new bands and music. Then it all went to junk when they started sponsoring bands and music.

  20. paperrhino

    Besides the already mentioned places, I get a lot of recommendations from Reddit. In particular the /r/classicalmusic and /r/baroque subreddits.

  21. FoxBall

    Personal contacts are the best. Let everyone else muddle thru the untalented.

  22. Asgaro

    Movies: IMDB score + IMDB’s Top Retail movies list(weekly), RottenTomatoes
    Music: I don’t really explore other genres. I only encounter new songs by the top-x lists on Spotify.
    Games: reviews, (gives one aggregated score based on review scores), popularity on Steam (by watching the Most Bought list)

  23. Tom

    I’ve taken to listening to a lot of the free music on Amazon MP3. Just go to 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. :-)

  24. Gabriel

  25. buddyboy9

    Mostly from the gals on the view.

  26. 6fran

    Spotify is great for discovering new music. And it’s free!

  27. Arun

    For movies imdb

  28. kenedy123

    Good to know about the How to Discover New Media

  29. Anon

    imdb for movies.

    Music now a days? Not even worth searching for. Still sticking to 60’s70’s & 90’s rock. Some 90’s rap like three six mafia etc.

    TV shows, DVR box.

  30. r

    Uhhh?…I’m still trying to understand what FoxBall said, I’m sure it makes….sense….*?*

  31. jason

    Music: I use shoutcast now that I lost my Sirius. Shoutcast has lots of genres and it labels music it plays. Its very convenient.

    Movies. I go by apple trailers combined with lead actor.

    TV: IMDB people that I’ve seen in other TV shows to see what else they’ve been in.

  32. Alvin Hansen

    This is very low tech, but I have 720p and 1080p wild card searches saved as subscription templates in Vuze. That way, when new releases become available on Blu-ray, they show up in the search results

  33. Mooojie B

    Try signing up (free) to sound findings .com hear and rate new music for free !

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