Always been a huge music fan (of the stored terabytes variety). But I suspect my methods went out of date around 2008 (rip my CDs, rip friends' CDs, otherwise get hands on mp3s, rename everything manually on iTunes, keep everything in organized folders on large external hard drives; I still use the 160 GB iPod classic exclusively). I further suspect I speak for a good few people here.

I feel that these outdated methods are holding me back from discovering good new music. I don't have hours to browse obscure forums any more like I did as a teenager—of course I come across good new stuff on YouTube sometimes, but it is quite rare and very unsystematic, and I usually forget what the good tracks were soon afterwards. Also, nothing is synced across any of my devices. I have an iPhone 5 but I have never thought to use it for music—I've always preferred dedicated devices.

So, what are your 'full-stack' solutions to discovering new music consistently, collecting / storing it (not necessarily offline), and accessing it for listening? I'm particularly interested in hearing from people who used to be entrenched in the 'old' way but have made a full-scale switch and are very happy with their current discovery/storage/access protocol.

  • 1
    I attend a lot of concerts. I get in my car or take mass transit, drive to the theater, pay for a ticket, watch the show, meet the musicians afterward, maybe buy their latest CD. I meet other musicians and fans. It's quite satisfying.
    – user546
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 17:58

8 Answers 8


Spotify is an excellent means of discovering new music based on similar artists and genres. They have a "tab" that is dedicated to discovering new music based on everything you listen to. However, even though they allow you to download music onto your phone (for offline listening,) this is not an official copy of the song/album.

As far as storing and collecting a physical copy of the music is concerned, I invest in vinyl. Once I discover an artist that is worthy of placing on the shelf, I end up buying a hard copy.

There are many times where storage devices have failed me, so I have moved away from digital files. Plus, the spiritual process of taking the vinyl from it's case, placing it on the turn table, and giving the music your complete uninterrupted attention it deserves, is quite rewarding.

  • I absolutely agree with Spotify (in addition to Deezer and other similar streaming players).
    – Patrick
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 12:40

I'll be honest; in my advanced age I no longer care about "hard copies". Mainly because I've moved my vast vinyl collection (approx. 5,000 pieces) several times and it sucks. So, now I store it on external HDs. if one ever dies, I'll just download the stuff since I've already paid for it.

My preferred method of finding new stuff is Pandora. Every band seems to have a station, and most stations will also play tracks from similar bands. if I like one genre, I'll tend to like other bands in that genre. Also, if the band has an official forum, I'll ask other fans for suggestions. I've found quite a few bands this way.

My entire music collection is accessible via my media server, which is really just Plex set up on a PC, which is then accessed from my Samsung SmartTV via WiFi. I used to have a stereo receiver and CD player/tape deck/record player/etc..., but having it all in one place is much nicer. Now I can listen to all my CDs, watch my DVDs and access all my bootlegs (live recordings) from one spot, all at the touch of a button. And when it comes time to move, transporting three 4GB external HDs is a LOT easier than 5,000 LPs, 1,000 CDs and close to that many movies, not to mention the thousands of hours of live recordings.


I'm using Apple Music for digital music on the go - and for discovery. The 'for you' tab is by far the best recommendation feature among the streaming services IMO (and I've been through both Spotify, deezer, rdio and tidal).

I suggest downloading the hype machine app and listen through their charts for new music. It's also a good way to discover which blogs makes sense for you follow

I finally got a vinyl collection of about 1k albums too for the true beauties I stumble upon


I'm with you, I'm still invested in my personally curated "collection," and have an antipathy to algorithmic services like Spotify and Pandora. I continue to discover a fair amount of music through the old fashioned pathways --the radio and friends/acquaintances. However, the most productive new-tech source of music I've found is Amazon.com's free music samplers.

Released by independent labels, the artists range from big names to complete unknowns. Since Amazon views your download of these as a "purchase" they are kept for you in a personalized "Amazon Cloud" which you can access from any computer or device with the right software. (Music you purchase digitally from Amazon also goes here automatically, as does, in some cases, a digital version of music you purchase from them in the form of a CD.) The cloud player is not nearly as good as iTunes. However, you can always (freely) download actual mp3s of the songs you really like. Through this method I've discovered a lot of exciting new music I would never otherwise have encountered.

The only downsides are 1) finding them, and 2) deleting them from the cloud. For the first, you need to wade through a maze of Amazon pages (Shop By Department > Digital and Prime Music > Digital Music > Digital Music Deals > More Deals > Albums By Price > Free). There's a ton of them, and many of them are pretty crappy. However, you'll soon discover the labels you like best. For the second, I haven't found a method yet.


I search for songs on SoundCloud based on a genre I like. There's surprisingly a lot of good stuff on there, ranging from apocalyptic music (such as Maxim Zhdanov) to dubstep/middle-eastern fusion (such as Beats Antique) and so on.

I also find quite a bit of good video game music remixes on OverClocked ReMix. They have a whole judging panel who evaluate music based on acceptable production and arrangement standards.


As for collecting and storing music, I nowadays only buy vinyls, and preferably LP's. I only buy albums which I like and that I know I will listen to frequently.

So how do I discover new music?

  • Jasper mentions spotify, which is the streaming service I use. What I want to add from Jasper's answer is the pretty new feature Discover Weekly. It is a two hour playlist which changes on a weekly basis. The algorithm for calculating the playlist, quoted from the website, can be found below. I tend to find at least one, often more, songs I really like and add to an "interesting tracks" playlist, which I in turn listen to and let the track move on if I still like it after a few listens. This also invites into digging deeper into artists catalogue.

    This means every song in Discover Weekly is based both on your own listening as well as what others are playlisting and listening to around the songs you love – making your playlist completely unique and full of deep cuts and new discoveries.

  • Another option is to listen to "best of" playlists, such as "best of 2015". A brief search on spotify brings up the below result. This can be narrowed down to the genre of your choice, or a subscription to a playlist you like.Best of 2015
  • A few year back, I used last.fm a lot, and I still think it is worth a mention. It is a service to which you "scrobble", i.e. record, each track you are listening to. It then has algorithms for suggesting artists, albums, and even concerts, wich you might like.

This seems like a purely opinion based question. But it's a fun one. And interesting.

These days, I get exposed to 'new music' that I like in a few different ways:

  • Radio. Believe it or not, radio is still a thing. :) I still have a few select ratio stations from around the country (and world) that I stream where I trust (or at least, agree with) the DJs decisions and playlists.

  • Friends. Mostly online, actually, where people are pointing out new artists. Real world friends too, though I find at my age, music isn't the topic it was when I was a few decades younger.

  • Media. Ads, movies, TVs.

As for storing, I agree that for digital music, your method (which is also mine) is now the "old fashioned" way of handling it. Mainly because it's just so burdensome. Seems most folks today are simply switching to streaming services to handle their 'storage' for them.

That said, I'm thrilled with the resurgence of Vinyl. Not so much for the sound, but for the return of the physical object and--more importantly--a resurgence in the 'music store' where you physically go and manually browse through the music--something iTunes will just never be able to replicate.


There are many popular songs that suggest from Youtube and you can also find pop songs from Billboard or something like that.

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