Music blogs were once at the forefront of the promising field of allowing people to express their musical taste all over the world. They still are, actually. But for people who don’t have time to read hundreds or thousands or even one music blog every day, their relevance has faded for a number of reasons — among them that Facebook scrobbles everything our friends listen to on a variety of services so we can find out about stuff that way, and because there are so many taste-defining apps that let us find out about new tunes more efficiently than by combing through individual blog posts.
However, the influence of music blogs is still felt — perhaps most of all, ironic as it might sound, by mainstream users who would never think to bookmark a music blog and check back each day for the latest goodies. Blog aggregators have been around for a while, gathering the best of the blogs into one central place. But these days, rather than collating their text-based opinions into one place, they’re more likely to gather up individual music blog posts like a whale scooping krill out of the ocean, processing them into ready-to-use music services with play buttons.
Here are a few of the cutting-edge music recommendation apps that rely on the work of hundreds or thousands of music bloggers all over the world.
Old School, Still Cool
Here we have the progenitors of this helpful breed of big music things.
The Hype Machine (web | iOS | Spotify): You can use The Hype Machine in so many ways, it’s like the Ginsu knife of listening to music blogs. It processes nearly a thousand music blogs, the last time we checked, outputting them in one big list. More efficiently, you can check out the latest songs in the genre of your choice, see what’s popular in a given week, check out the Zeitgeist of the previous year, or hear all the latest posts in just six minutes. If you use Spotify or iOS, the dedicated apps for those offer even slicker ways to tune in to the blogosphere without actually, you know, reading anything, although The Hype Machine is fairly good about linking through to blogs, should you want to read up on what you’re listening to.
Elbo.ws (web): Another long-in-the-tooth blog aggregator, Elbo.ws includes the familiar “blogging of blogs” format that asks you to scroll through a long list of the latest posts from the 4,068 blogs it currently monitors. More interesting from the perspective of turning all of that stuff into something you can process easily, the site includes Hot Artists, Hot Tracks, Hot Videos, Hot Posts, and Hot Blogs (scroll down here).