How to find good music on the internet. Updated daily.

MusicRex articles:
Making Music Has Changed, Finding Music Is Changing
Gifts for Music Lovers

How to Find Good Music

by Mark Tatum

Once we depended on an established system to discover and recommend the music we listen to. Music labels decided what music to record and print and radio stations decided what to play on the air. There were well-defined genres like "rock" or "R&B" with enough listeners to support mass-market advertising.

A Changing Music Marketplace

Because it no longer costs a small fortune to record an album (every artist has a laptop) artists decide themselves what to record and print. There are more artists and music available than ever before. There are no longer enough radio stations to play all the types and genres of music available. Most niches are too small to support a radio station.

The music marketplace is rapidly changing and it is no longer controlled by a few companies or influential people.

Who Recommends Music Now?

While there may be more good music being made today, it is more difficult to find because we rely less on traditional tastemakers to decide what we listen to. However, once you do some exploring, you'll discover there are a lot of places to find recommendations for music:

Recommendation Web Sites

In the past few years several different types of music recommendation web sites have sprung up, usually recommending music based on what you are listening to now. For example, catalogs what you are playing and shows you other people around the world who have similar playlists. You can browse the music they are listening to for gems you may never have heard. Other sites encourage you to post your playlist and tag them with genre names so others can cross-reference them. Within minutes of visiting these sites you will have dozens of recommendations for good music by people who are like the same music you do.


Most newspapers and magazines have music critics who listen to lots of music and write about what they like. Because it is their full-time job they are still a great resource.

Public radio

Your public radio station is probably playing lots of great music you haven't heard of yet. They aren't tied to playing music that only appeals to a mass market and can indulge in lots of different genres and types of music that might not have a large enough audience to support a commercial radio station. Many of them post their playlists on their sites, so check those out too.

Independent music labels

Often these small labels are run by one or two people. They are more likely to sign and promote the music they personally like. Therefore, if you find an artist you like, check out other artists on that label.


There is nothing quite like seeing a band perform live to really appreciate them. After all, music is a performance art. Because we have access to recordings in convenient formats many people never experience their favorite artists in a concert setting. Let me remind you how powerful a concert experience is. You will appreciate your favorite artists even more after seeing them live. An added bonus is that bands often tour with similar-sounding or complementary artists. Even if you can't make it to a show, check out who your favorite artists are touring with. A great site to see who is touring where and when is on

Have you noticed how Amazon makes recommendations based on your past purchases there? This is called "affinity-based recommendations." Basically, if a lot of other people who bought the same music you did and also bought something that you haven't bought yet, Amazon can be fairly certain you will like what they bought too. The more information you give Amazon about the CDs you own and how much you like it, the better they are at recommending new music for you.

Discussion Groups

Every artist has a group of dedicated fans who often contribute to message boards, either on the artist web site or on Yahoo Groups or some other message board system. Invariably they recommend other music to listen to. If you have a favorite group check out the message boards dedicated to them.


It seems every band has a myspace page these days. That is because myspace makes it easy for them to create a page and post three or four songs. You can get lost for hours on myspace just clicking on links to bands and listening to music.

TV Shows and Commercials

Nobody writes jingles anymore. Instead they license music from labels or artists to supply the background of their show or sales-pitch. This is a great way to discover new music.

MusicRex helps you find these new recommendation sites. Go to the front page of MusicRex and check out the links to various music sites there. If you know of a great music blog or music site that should be on our list, let us know!