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Top 5 Music Discovery Online Radio

These are my favorite 5 online streaming radio for music discovery at the moment. If you’re looking to discover new music on the horizon but have no idea where to start, here are five choices to kick you off on your musical journey. These stations are chosen for streaming quality, music recommended choices, and most importantly, because they are FREE.

1. OurStage.com

URL: http://www.ourstage.com

OurStage.com was created primarily as a platform to launch unsigned and upcoming artists of all genres. With a tagline like “Where the stars of tomorrow get discovered”, the OurStage music engine generates song and artist recommendations based on your choice of genre. Clicking on each genre tab will lead you to a genre page with recommended artists and songs, as well as that delicious radio button that says “Play”. Music quality is top-notch and uninterrupted, a crucial factor for listeners like me who hate it when DJs disrupt your train of thought in between songs. User-generated content voting for songs and joining of fanclub pages help artists to identify their target market as well as general popularity of their songs.

A pop-up player allows you to listen to perfectly-streamed and uninterrupted music while you surf within the pages of the OurStage website. A brilliant idea.

MusicRewind Rating: 4.5 Thumbs-up

2. The Hype Machine

URL: http://hypem.com

A novel idea, The Hype Machine is a music discovery site that trawls the internet space for music blogged about on the blogosphere. With a strict set of guidelines on how they pick music blogs, Hype Machine recommends new songs, remixes, artists and bands on their homepage, but they go one step further by offering a monthly radio podcast (that you can stream live or download as a free MP3) of a set of their favourite picks and recommendations. The monthly HypeM podcasts includes DJ commentary as well as exclusive interviews with music bloggers and sometimes with the artists themselves.

An embedded music player at the bottom of the website allows you to seamlessly switch between song plays (very little lags), with awesome sound quality.

MusicRewind Rating: 4.0 Thumbs-up

3. TheSixtyOne

URL: http://www.thesixtyone.com

The brainchild of two music lovers, this streaming site is named after Highway 61, an American highway that is said to have deep roots and connections to America’s historical music culture, and has received strong support from organization Creative Commons as well as Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman.

Let me just say one thing upfront: This site is BEAUTIFUL. The homepage, which is aesthetically wonderful with creative use of button positioning, will blow your senses away if you are someone attracted to all-things new. However, if you’re a tried-and-true type of web user, then you might find this site navigation a tad challenging.

Music recommended are of high quality and great taste, and pre-selected playlists act as awesome radio channels for your discovery tastes.

MusicRewind Rating: 3.5 Thumbs-up

4. GrooveShark

URL: http://listen.grooveshark.com/

Grooveshark is free, beautiful, and awesome. You can also create up to an infinite number of playlists (I’m at 35 for the moment), and 99% of the songs you want are probably searchable on Grooveshark.

Bad news: the recommendation engine is not the most advanced at the moment. Songs recommended are trapped within the catalogs of only a few artists, ensuring that if you listen to N.E.R.D. you will be recommended Pharrell’s songs repeatedly.

Nevertheless, Grooveshark is an incredible library you can fall back on for songs you never want to forget. Think of it as a cloud-based source for all your favourite songs.

Second downside: it crashes once in awhile. If you have a big heart, forgive the developers and pray for recovery everytime it happens. GrooveShark is an indispensable friend.

MusicRewind Rating: 3.5 Thumbs-up

5. Slacker Radio

URL: http://www.slacker.com/

Launched in the USA in 2007, Slacker Radio opened its doors to Canadian fans earlier this year to little fanfare. Slacker Radio encourages creation of your own radio stations, supported by their recommendation engine. Slacker Radio tilts more towards the commercial side, and will satisfy your sudden craving for some Pop hits. What I personally love is Slacker’s Comedy radio channel, which is a wonderful way to discover past and new stand-up comedians via 1 minute clips.

Downside: It’s only free for 30 days, but the experience for that month is assured of quality and good music recommendations.

MusicRewind Rating: 3.5 Thumbs-up

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15/11/2010 Posted by | Reviews/Recommendations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sony Fantasy Festival

If you’re already logged on to Last.FM (and are in Europe), then you should definitely check this out!

Sony Music Entertainment has come up with a game-like online application where you can create your own festival line-up, a la Premier League style. It’s quite fun, except for a few drawbacks.

One, it’s only for the Europe region.

Two, your line-up of artists only pertain to the Sony catalogue of artists available.

Nevertheless, a novel idea! Try it out here: http://fantasyfestival.last.fm

22/11/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , | 2 Comments