Music fans, by definition, listen to music. We don’t always listen in the same way.
Sometimes, we know just what we want to hear; sometimes we have a vague idea; and other times, we grow sick of what we already know, and maybe even feel a creeping sense of guilt that we’re not reading everything on Pitchfork, listening to everything on Hype Machine, or scouring label sites, BandCamp, and SoundCloud for the freshest music, in order to stay on top of the latest stuff — ideally, some of which we’ll want to hang onto.
Exploring outside of our comfort zone can add up to a lot of work, and most of us have other stuff to do — and if we don’t, it still helps to have the right tools, as with anything else.
A new solution to the problem of expanding one’s musical taste and collection without working one’s ears off has appeared: the MusicRadiator web app, which layers a remarkably simple interface over the freshest music, either in general, or by genre. Built by engineers at The Echo Nest (publisher of Evolver.fm) using its Discovery playlist and the genres you can also hear on Every Noise At Once.
MusicRadiator, like many of our favorite things, cloaks complicated workings behind a veneer of simplicity. In other words, it’s easy to use, but also very powerful. When you go to the site, music simply starts playing. This will be a song from the Discovery playlist, which consists of “brand-shiny-new songs that you’re hearing before pretty much anybody else.” If that were all MusicRadiator did, it would still be a useful way to uncover new stuff to collect, but it actually does more.
Before we get to that, note that all of this music comes from Rdio. So unless you subscribe to that, you’ll only get 30-second samples of everything, which is still useful, because 30-seconds is often long enough to make a decision.
When you’ve had enough of the default Discovery playlist, or if you want to test your ears in a new direction (“I wonder what the freshest new Argentine Rock songs sound like?”) you can listen to any genre, shuffle through any playlist, and check out similar genres to whatever you’re listening to at any given time.
If you do subscribe to Rdio, MusicRadiator not only puts a nice pretty face and some deep functionality around the problem of finding entirely new (as in recently-released and new to you personally) music, but it lets you collect it too.
If you hear something you like, clicking the Thumbs Up button automatically adds it to your Rdio collection. Collecting music in 2013 just got a little easier.