While Peter is away I thought I’d visit a topic central to what CDMu is about, but rarely visited: Procuring Music. We (and by “we” I do of course mean “you”, powerful yet supple reader) spend rather a lot of time analyzing and discussing the tools and processes for creating music, but don’t seem to touch on the end product quite so often. Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing my favourite program for organizing and playing music, but for now I’d like to share a couple of sources for new material, and open up the comments to as much linking, pimping and self-promotion as you can muster. The fruits of CDM readers’ labours have been hidden away in the CreateDigitalNoise Share Your Work forum for too long. It’s time for some front-page love.

Personally, I rely almost entirely on friends (both web- and meatspace-based) for my musical enlightenment. Occasionally I’ll do the rounds of MP3 blogs, generally stopping at Aurgasm, 3hive, Stereogum and more recently The Hype Machine, but more often I let those more musically inquisitive than I do the filtering and feed me the best bits. Most of the artists I’ve “discovered myself” recently were through music video blogs such as No Fat Clips and Ticklebooth.

For music purchases I’m tending to use label sites much more than services such as iTunes Music Store. Having a seperate account for each niche-label isn’t the most friendly setup, but I feel like more of my money is making it to the artist, and the label sites and releases are definitely more fun and personable.

I enjoyed the leadup to Hybrid’s most recent release “I Choose Noise“. First came the single “Just For Today”, released for free download on the Hybrid Sound System site. Then came the “I Choose Noise EP“, containing 2 extra tracks as an MP3 single for £2, which was followed, finally, by the full album release for £8 as MP3 download or £8.50 for a “cd exclusive” including live DVD. All of the downloads are DRM free, format-shiftable, share-with-your-friends-able, 320KBit MP3 files. Lovely.

To get an idea of what other CDM readers and contributors are listening to, check out the CDM group on Last.fm (and join up if you haven’t done so already). There’s also the Today I have been mostly listening to… thread, which could do with some reanimating. That’s only a tiny cross-section of the CDM readership though, so I’d really love to hear from those who are making and releasing music. Sources of free legal tracks we can copy and share with friends are great too, of course.

  • velocipede

    I haven't got a lot of time to spend searching for music, but I listen to it all day and want easy access. I find a lot of artists that I am interested in are on eMusic and the pricing is good. I rarely feel that an album is worth iTunes prices (and if I do, I usually get the CD), but I am fully opposed to piracy.

    I also find a lot of music that I like on forums like this. So many people are making so much good music these days, you could fill a fat iPod with quality free tunes found on the Internet.

    Last.fm looks interesting. I've also tried Pandora. Frankly, though, if I just put iTunes on random, I end up hearing lots of music in my collection that I have hardly heard before due to thousands of free dls from KCRW, eMusic, SXSW, and several hundred variations of the Doctor Who theme . . .

  • Blatent Self Promotion as requested 🙂

    Click my name and sign up to give you access to my last album for free in 320kbps MP3 format..

    This was in the share your work thread but hey…

  • This is great, I come here to check for info and I find my site (tickle) listed.

  • Velocipede: Doctor Who Themes. Now. Share them with us! (Surely some of them are noncommercial?)

    Stef: Thanks (again), but surely something new has happened since? What's your tip for discovering new music?

    Ajit: Well, your site is excellent. You shouldn't be surprised that I'm namechecking Ticklebooth 🙂

  • Seba

    eMusic is definitely the way to go. I've been a subscriber since 2002, back when they used to have the "all you can eat model" of downloading, (I managed to procure about 1,500 legal downloads before they changed to a limited number of track downloads/month (though I still subscribe, much cheaper than iTunes, all around, plus no DRM and you can redownload your digital albums in the result of a HD crash, etc). Granted, if you're looking for Christina or Britney, it's probably not going to work out for you, but just about every label I listen to is available in their catalogue, so I have no reason to complain.

  • I'll echo support for emusic. Itunes is a big fat ripoff in comparison: higher prices, restrictive DRM, lower sound quality. Emusic has a fairly broad collection of small labels, too, which tend to interest me more than stuff on the majors.

    For blogs, the only one I check semi-regularly is Free Albums Galore.

    I also check out a lot of tracks posted in forums likes KVR, EM411, and the Auditorium.

  • After I picked up an X-Station and a copy of Reason about two months back, I had to make a Dr. Who theme, even if the result is but a short clip…and my bassline is too jumpy.

    <a>Take a listen.

    I'm curious to see what media player gets reviewed. My choice is a locally coded application (local in the Twin Cities), J. River's Media Center. It deals with larger databases much better than iTunes.

  • Nasir

    I've been a rabid fan of Yahoo! music lately. Like Napster, it allows subscription access to all of the 1 million tracks on the system. Mostly mainstream stuff, but lots of old stuff too. I like being able to listen to entire albums of artists only a few minutes after people mention them to me.

    You don't even have to download tracks to listen to them. And if you hear a crazy sample that you swear is in that other song you heard long ago, you can queue it right up (e.g. US3's Cantaloupe Island (Flip Fantasia) and Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island). Some of the more obscure artists aren't on there, but I've been surprised by the selection.

  • Oops, i think my link failed.


  • If we are doing the self-promotion thing, I'd like to point you into the direction of my music blog //radio//2019

    I do deviate sometimes and cover Asian Cinema, but for the most part it's al about the music (indie and electronic)

    So if you have the chance check it out!

  • Soz Jaymiss.. I think I got the wrong end of the stick subject wise..

    New music? I tend to go for the breaks end of the spectrum and check out the weekly release .m3u playlists at Juno.co.uk… Not free, but decent quality and DRM free… I also shop at DJDownload.com which is pretty complete in terms of breaks labels.

    As for my new stuff.. Alas no.. Soon though, I've got four signed singles backed up in Distro hell at the moment 🙁

  • Johnny Horizon

    You guys are living in the past. Pandora is the future.

  • For discovery, I think Amarok and last.fm can't be beaten, along with Gratisvibes.

  • i got a few tunes if you care to check em out, breaks and prog house type stuff. maybe you'll like em. maybe you won't, but they are free…

  • Thanks for the comments guys. Seems that emusic is leading for the big commercial services. I personally think the only reason iTunes Music Store is so popular is that people don't know about the alternatives. If you ask an average non-techy person on the street "what's an MP3 player", they'll say "iPod", and so they'll follow that to its natural conclusion and buy their tracks at the iTMS. They even sell iTMS recharge cards in Coles supermarkets here in Australia, so I wouldn't be surprised if a huge proportion of net non-savvy people don't even know that other stores exist, nor that there are DRM free options which aren't piracy.

    In fact, Apple's marketing has been so effective that one of my friends purchased an iPod when she didn't even own a computer.

    Stef: You got it totally right, I just thought you might have had more to add, since I already downloaded your album and enjoyed it.

    Thanks for all the other suggestions guys. There's some great stuff there, but keep it coming. Definitely not enough to fill a fat iPod as Velocipede mentioned.

    Here's one which just made it out of my downloads directory: Skeet Spirit – A Crunk Tribute to Radiohead.

  • partyman

    i like music for robots it tends to have stuff I otherwise wouldnt hear. also dj mp4 "book is on the table" is really something else if you havent heard it.

  • I personally think Pandora sucks rocks.
    (wait for it to load and hit refresh if you're not looking at something about Pandora)


  • gbc02

    You people are strange….



  • i second music for robots, bleep.com, forcedexposure, and your local record shop…emusic definitely has a good selection of indie stuff…

    and for a personal plug…my record label:

  • this is why i don't do web crap…hahaha…

    my label : hometapes

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