One of the things I hear my friends complain about all the time is how their iPod playlists have become stale and how they desperately need new tunes, but have run out of ideas on where to go to discover new music. I’m pretty sure a lot of you have been in that situation yourself – looking for the right soundtrack for a dinner party, making a long road trip less boring, or setting the right mood for a romantic night. How do you discover new music? Well, fellow Stumblers, StumbleUpon is here to the rescue! Here are some of my favorite methods that I’ve been using to discover new music with the help of StumbleUpon.
1. Discover Music with StumbleUpon Video
My favorite way to discover music on StumbleUpon is through StumbleUpon’s own video player. On your toolbar, click on All Interests and select Videos on the Modes and Interests tab. This will allow you to Stumble only Videos. Click on Video Channels in the menu beneath the video you’re watching and you’ll be able to start Stumbling videos in any of your favorite Interests. Make sure you have Music selected on your Discover tab; from there on, the sky’s the limit!
2. Discover Great Music Sites
Another way to discover music on StumbleUpon is simply by Stumbling in the Music Interest from your toolbar. This is how I came across the sites that I will be introducing below. These sites are popular with Stumblers, but in case you haven’t stumbled them already, we hope we were able to bring something new to your ears.
With over 400,000 stumbles, this site is already a StumbleUpon darling. I keep seeing “thank you for showing this to me” tweets every day. Stereomood was founded in Rome and allows you to listen to playlists that match a certain emotion. According to the site creators, Stereomood is “the emotional internet radio, providing music that best suits your mood and activities.” You can choose from lists made for a sunny day, candlelit dinner, sunday morning, being dreamy, spring cleaning and, of course, “making love” (the site is run by Italians, after all.)
By using semantic search and aggregation technology, We Are Hunted listens to what people are saying about artists on their music blogs, social networks, message boards and forums to chart the top songs online every day. They want to be a daily destination for music lovers looking to discover their next favorite artist.
Shuffler.Fm’s slogan, “Channel surf the music web,” intrigued me so I took it for a spin. This site offers a fun way to navigate through thousands of music blogs. It’s like an Internet radio station that allows you to shuffle through music blogs. Shuffler aggregates music from around the web, bringing you a homepage with a list of radio-like channels categorized by genre. When you click on a channel, it sends you to a blog post and starts playing one of the songs mentioned on that post. If you don’t like it, you can skip ahead or pick another channel from the shuffler bar on the top of the page. When the song ends, they send you to the next song on a new blog within the same music channel that you picked.
What’s special about RCRD LBL is that it provides free, curated and legal MP3 downloads from the hottest emergent artists through its content partners. Driven by its taste-making editorial and curatorial teams, RCRD LBL features over 25,000 free singles, remixes, exclusive tracks and rarities from a diverse, handpicked roster of artists including Santigold, Steve Aoki, Moby, Massive Attack, MGMT and thousands more. Additionally RCRD LBL‘s network of affiliated content partners includes well respected labels such as Warp Records, Ghostly International, Dim Mak, Fool’s Gold and Modular. Get a taste of what’s new and download free music without feeling guilty about it.
For the lovers of soul and jazz music, I recommend Soul Sides, a reputed soul blog that has been around since 2003. The blog started posting audio files in 2004 and since then they’ve been regularly reviewing records and allowing free downloads. Most songs are available for download for about 10 days. Oliver Wang, the blog’s creator, also writes for NPR, the LA Times and Wax Poetics.
3. StumbleThru Stereomood, Noisey or TheFader.com
Navigate to stereomood.com, noisey.vice.com or thefader.com and you’ll find StumbleThru buttons featured. Get those earbuds ready, and then click StumbleThru to Stumble through the best of these domains.
4. Stumble by Keyword
And finally here’s another way you can discover music on StumbleUpon: with StumbleUpon Explore Box. Enter in your favorite music term in the “Explore an Interest” box on your Home tab or go to http://www.stumbleupon.com/explore.
I have a special affinity for accordion music, so I gave this a try and found some really good songs and musicians, such as Dave Thomas, who does a great job at covering Yann Tiersen in this video.
I hope you enjoyed this post and learned a few new ways to navigate around StumbleUpon that will help you steer our powerful recommendation engine to where you want it to go. I’d love to hear from you and especially to find out if there’s a particular music site or musician that you discovered with StumbleUpon. Also, if you are a musician and got a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon, give us a shout! Take a minute and leave a comment on this post about your experience with discovering music or getting discovered on StumbleUpon.