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.