There are a variety of sources available in regards to discovering new music.
The various sources for discovering music include:
- Rate Your Music
- Album of the Year
- Best Ever Albums
- Review Websites and Blogs
- Music Streaming Services
- Record Labels
- Essential Charts
The first and most obvious source is 4chan's /mu/. By observing discussion on artists or genres, you could probably pick up some new music just based on what people have to say. You could also ask for recommendations, but avoid making a thread based solely on recommendations for yourself. You could use tools such as the top 50, top 100 or collage chart makers, or the 3x3 generator to make a thread with (or to post in a pre-existing 3x3 or chart thread), asking people to post their 3x3s or charts and ask for recommendations through that.
Sometimes on /mu/, people create sharethreads, where people upload albums to direct download sites (such as Mediafire or Zippyshare) and then share them with other people on /mu/. Sharethreads tend to be based around a particular theme (a genre normally) or are sometimes just general sharethreads. Lately, the latter has been more common than the former. You may want to hang around in a sharethread to see if there's anything that catches your eye. In the last couple of years, since Mediafire has cracked down on music sharing and the laziness of people on /mu/ increased, sharethreads are few and far between nowadays, and links from Mediafire tend to be removed almost instantaneously. Thanks to Mega, Kim Dotcom's new cloud storage site based in New Zealand, sharethreads are starting to find new life and a new home. If you wish to create a sharethread, then you may want to use the guide available that shows you how to create a good quality sharethread. Under no circumstances should you make a sharethread without sharing at least a few albums yourself. You could also search the archives for past sharethreads on /mu/.
The best way of receiving recommendations on /mu/ is by making conversation with people in threads and then just asking what they would recommend. Most people will be willing to drop you a few artists or albums to look up. If someone just posts an image of an album, without the name in either the accompanying comment or filename, then do a reverse image search to find the name of the album before asking for the name of the album. Also, refrain from asking for links to the recommended album (exception: if you cannot find it on your own, then the recommender may be willing to upload it). This applies to any album posted on /mu/. Downloading music is an issue that people should make the effort to do on their own and this issue is covered in the Obtaining Music section of this wiki.
Last.fm is a service offered that tracks what you play through your media player (scrobbling) and records it to your profile. This is then used to determine recommendations for you based on your most played. Last.fm actually does a decent job of making recommendations by seeing what you've listened to the most and then comparing that to other users with similar top artists, then making recommendations based on what artists the other users have listened to that you haven't.
Last.fm also features something called a shoutbox, which allows you to leave 'shouts' (comments) on other people's profiles. You can use this to discuss music on a more personal level with friends that you meet (in real life or on the internet), ask for recommendations or just make general small talk.
The final major feature of last.fm is the radio. The radio allows you to listen to music based around any classification you see fit, be it a genre, artist, album, song or another last.fm user, though it is currently a service that has to be paid for via a subscription in most countries, with only a 50-song free trial being available in most countries. The subscription also gives other various benefits, such as the ability to see who visits your profile.
Rate Your MusicEdit
Rate Your Music (RYM) is a website that provides you with a growing catalog of almost any artist that you could think of and their subsequent discography. The quality of the information provided on RYM is generally of a higher quality than the catalog of music provided on last.fm. This is due to a large number of people on last.fm scrobbling their music with incorrect tags, resulting in multiple variants of the same album by an artist and multiple variants of song titles.
RYM also provides members with the ability to rate their music on a five star scale in half star increments. This allows you to receive automated recommendations based on the most popular albums/artists for the genre of music you rate the most. A lesser known option is that when you scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll see a button called "latest", when clicked you'll see a new list of recommendations based on the music you've rated lately. You can also compare your ratings to other users who share similar tastes.
The downside of RYM, compared to last.fm, is that you may end up being recommended music that you have already listened to, but haven't rated. This can be overlooked though, since you can remove recommendations from your recommendation list anyway.
RYM also has the ability to create charts based on the overall ratings of every member on RYM. This service can be used without an RYM account and you can use it to find the overall highest ranked album of any genre you wish to explore. In July 2017, the beta for the upcoming Sonemic update launched and the custom charts are functional. The added functionality for the update allows you to be even more specific with what you want to find, including charts based on secondary genres, descriptors, and more specific date ranges (for example, you can create a chart for albums released between May 31, 2016 to June 21, 2017). The downside is that the current beta is based off of a snapshot of RYM from July 2017, though the final beta phase (likely launching in 2020) is supposed to have constant chart updates so that they'll be even more useful than RYM's charts. Still, even if you aren't able to get more accurate 2017-present charts at the moment, they're still plenty usable and a valuable tool.
Discogs is a website that is mainly for cataloging music. As a music listener, it can be an invaluable tool for finding correct tags for your files. Discogs also provides comprehensive information on album editions (useful if an album's content varies over time or different formats), release formats, band member history and side projects, label catalogs and much more. Discogs also features a recommendation system, which consists of a list of recommended albums at the end of an album's page, but it's more useful really as a music catalog. Discogs also features a very large user-run marketplace, where you can buy and sell physical formats of music. Sellers and buyers have feedback scores and ratings as well as user stores, and items are graded on their condition, much like eBay. Music is also available in digital formats, if that's your thing.
Review Websites and BlogsEdit
Review websites are one of the biggest causes of shitstorms on /mu/, especially when Pitchfork is the matter at hand. Review websites (and also blogs) should be seen as a source of new music and used to keep up to date in the music scene. You should listen to music before passing judgement on it and not feel afraid to either deviate from a reviewer's opinion, or to enjoy it when everyone else is telling you that you only like it because it's highly rated on Pitchfork. Make sure not to stick to one or two of these sites (especially pitchfork and scaruffi, since they cause most of the shitstorms) and try exploring music from outside of review sites as well. Here's a list of review websites and blogs that you may wish to visit. You can add these to your own Google Custom Search-engine to see who has the music you're looking for.
- BBC Music
- Best Ever Albums
- Consequence of Sound
- The Needle Drop
- Piero Scaruffi's knowledge base
- The Quietus
- Reflektor Magazine
- Resident Advisor
- Tiny Mix Tapes
- The Wire
- Anti-Gravity Bunny
- Dead Formats
- Et Musique Pour Tous
- Gorilla vs Bear
- guide me little tape
- Jumbly Music
- Music Is Amazing
- Potholes In My Blog
- Pretty Much Amazing
- Reflektor Magazine
- The Masked Gorilla
- Surviving the Golden Age
- Tome to the Weather Machine
- afrobeat, afrofunk, afrojazz, afrorock ...
- Avant-Avant Avant-Garde
- Awesome Tapes from Africa Africa
- Birp.fm Indie-Rock
- Carried Out To Sea
- Corrupted Delights
- Dial Africa Africa
- ghostcapital Obscure
- Hypocrite God
- I Hate The 90s
- Japshare Japan
- madrotter-treasure-hunt Indonesia
- MG 9
- Munju Aggregator
- [http://panmusic.press Pan's weekly music]
- Rotten Young Earth
- Terror Noise Audio
- The Static Fanatic
- Wilfully Obscure Power Pop, Punk, Emo, Indie Rock, Shoegazer
- Zero G Sound
- 60s (mostly) uncomped 50s/60s FreakBeat/Mod
- John /mu/sack (Shares)
- >;3 meow hear me !roar
- Yusuf shares music that you probably won't like
- Public Embarrassment Blues (Review Blog written by various /mu/tants)
- Hur du ska tycka (In Swedish)
Free streaming music sitesEdit
Despite the continual legal pursuit of music file-sharing "criminals" by the RIAA, the ability to find great music and create a significant music library on Last.fm at virtually no cost is still quite feasible. So we'll start by dividing this into categories and giving a few examples of what we know.
A number of the sites in this list do not directly support scrobbling to your Last.fm-profile, some workarounds are:
- LastFM Firefox Extension To get tracks on Slacker, Pandora, Deezer and AccuRadio scrobbled to Last.fm.
- Scroblr (Chrome/Safari-extension) scrobbles: Pandora, Grooveshark, Google Music Beta, Amazon Cloud Player, Turntable.fm, Bandcamp, Accuradio, Jango and We7.
- The Universal Scrobbler
On-demand (scrobbles native)Edit
- 100 pour 100 musique
- FabrykaMuzy Polish language
- Free Music Archive
- Last.fm free music player
- Muzik Air
- Mikseri Finnish language
- Music Anchor
- Slacker region restricted to U.S.
- Spotify Region restricted to select countries
- This Is My Jam
- Vi.be Dutch language
- We Are Hunted
- we7 Restricted to the UK and Ireland
- Yandex Restricted to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
- My Player
- Canciones sin copyright gratis- Royalty free music free
- Free Background music
On-demand (through plugin/script)Edit
- 3voor12 Luisterpaal It scrobbles through this link
- Gaana Use this Greasemonkey-script: 
- Youtube Greasemonkey-script: 
- My Player
Radio (scrobbles native)Edit
- Pandora Restricted to the US
- Radio-poemas de amor.
Radio (through plugin)Edit
Not sure where your favourite artist is actually available? Try these music search engines that'll show the right streaming sites (including links).
- Music Smasher Searches for artists on Rdio, Bandcamp, Spotify, Grooveshark, Soundcloud, MOG and Youtube.
- Toma.hk Searches for artists on Deezer, Ex.fm, Jamendo, Last.fm, Official.fm, Rdio, Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube.
Record labels are an option that a lot of people seem to forget about. By looking at what record label an artist is/was signed up to, you can find new artists that are/were also signed up. A lot of smaller record labels tend to specialise in smaller genres of music, and they seem to try and hold a particular quality amongst the musicians they sign. It's not recommeded looking up the record label of larger artists, since a lot of them will just be signed to more major record labels, who dont take up artists based on style, but based on what will bring them the most money. Some suggested record labels include:
- 50Weapons (Germany) - Techno, Bass, Funky, Dubstep
- Art As Catharsis (Australia) - Stoner Rock, Doom Metal, Hardcore
- Blue Note Records Jazz
- Buda musique World music
- Burger Records -
- Constellation Records (Canada) - Post-rock
- Cut Records- Dubstep, Future Garage
- Drowning.cc (Denmark) - Drone/Doom Metal
- The Elephant Six Recording Company - Hipster Garbage
- Erstwhile Records - EAI, Onkyo, Drone, Glitch
- Future Recordings - Emo, Screamo, Post Rock
- Ghostly International - Electronic, Experimental Pop
- Gilead Media - Sludge, Stoner, Doom, Black Metal
- Hessle Audio - Bass, Dubstep, Funky
- Honest Jon's - Eclectic Worldwide (most releases available on Deezer, Rdio and Spotify)
- Hospital Productions - Noise, Black Metal, Drone, Power Electronics
- INEDIT World Music (North Africa, Asia and the Middle East) Releases on Rdio
- Luaka Bop world music
- Mad Decent - Electronic dance, tropical bass, hip-hop
- Ninja Tune -
- NNA Tapes - Ambient, Drone, Experimental, Noise
- OWSLA - Electro, dance, dubstep
- Quote Unquote - BtMI!, Punk, Ska, Donation Based (Free Albums)
- Raster-Noton (Germany) - Glitch, IDM
- Room40 (Australia) - Ambient, Glitch, Noise, Drone
- Runegrammofon (Norway) Jazz, Experimental, Noise
- Sacred Bones - Post-Punk, Experimental, Noise
- Season of Mist - Extreme Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal
- Slumberland - Twee, Dreampop, Noise Pop
- Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Traditional Folk Music
- Soundway Records Ltd Africa
- Southern Lord - Extreme Metal, Experimental
- Stasisfield- Experimental Electronic
- Tresor (Germany) - Techno, Minimal Techno, Tech House
- Ultimae Records - Downtempo Electronic, IDM, Psychedelic, Ambient, Trance
- Warp Records - IDM, Ambient, Folk, Bass, Indie Rock, Math Rock, Techno
- World Music Network Renowned for its The Rough Guide-series.