I am music obsessed.
I know, everyone loves music, but my observations tell me that the majority of people have a healthy relationship with it.
Not me. It dominates my life.
At work, many know me as “that guy who beatboxes down the hallway”. The rest likely know me as “that guy who annoyingly beatboxes down the hallway.”
At home, many of my neighbors know me as “that guy who’s always playing music.” The rest likely know me as “that damn guy who’s always playing damn music.”
Many of my friends know me as, “that guy who improves inappropriate songs on his guitar.” The rest know me as, “that talentless assbag who won’t put the guitar down.”
One of my parents knows me as, “that child who won’t stop tapping.” The other refers to me as, “not my child”.
You get the point….
The biggest downside of being a human jukebox (aside from the stares) is how quickly worn down a song can become. There are literally hundreds of songs that at one point in my life dominated my brainspace – and now when I hear that same song- instant nausea. There’s a reason why one song on repeat is a powerful P.O.W. tactic.
If new music becomes old quickly, and old music makes a brain become stir crazy, the stage has been set for problems.
In the era where music cost money – according to historians- this was an issue. Today, whether you’re a part-time artist in Santa Monica, the crappiest band in Canada, or New Zealand’s 4th most popular digi-folk paradists, you’ve got a Myspace page giving away samples of your music. Try to find a contemporary musician without a Myspace page – I dare you.
The Web and Your Musical Lexicon
As the Internet became a more popular platform to openly share music, new services started popping up to better serve your listening habits. Napster, BearShare, Kazaa, iTunes music store, BitTorrent, Pandora, Last.FM, etc., are names that you’re likely familiar with. I’ve gone through each of these services, slowly evolving my music “adoption” (not to be confused with piracy) tools over time.
The biggest problem for me has always been, streaming music isn’t downloadable and downloadable music leads to viruses (I’ve included a link explaining the concept of a virus for Mac users). Much like opponents of Bruce Willis, old music problems Die Hard.
Because I love you, and I’m pretty sure you like me too (are we flirting right now?), I will share with you the most state of the art music “adoption” (not to be confused with piracy) tools that I know of and use. If you’ve got an alternate method for music “adoption” (not to be confused with piracy), I highly encourage you to share. Knowledge is what makes the world a throbbing mass of joy. I now present to you:
The Good Badger Guide to Becoming A Better Internet Music Adoption (not to be confused with piracy) and Discovering (see: Adoption) Machine
- Step 1 – Download and use Firefox
Although Firefox is clearly the superior web browser in comparison to Internet Explorer, this not why it’s step one. Firefox’s plugins are what makes this a necessary step (read below).
- Step 2 – Download Video DownloadHelper
The add-on made for ripping videos off of sites like YouTube also works for .mp3s. In other words you’re music world has just gone from 2D to 3D. You’re welcome for the extra dimension.
For “Adopting” Music you already know:
- Step 3 – Go To Grooveshark.com
You’ve got a particular song stuck in your head. You’ve Shazamed it. You want it. No, you need it. You go to iTunes, listen to a 30 second download and become quickly unsatisfied with its brevity. You go to YouTube and become quickly unsatisfied with its low-quality. You go to Pandora and become quickly unsatisfied that you get every other song from that artist except the one you’re looking for.
Grooveshark is the solution.
Grooveshark needs only one word to be accurately summarized: awesome. Grooveshark is a simple music search and play website which excels at building playlists. Take 10 minutes to build a playlist of 30 songs you want to get you through the next 2 hours of your day. You can find any song (within reason). It’s like an iTunes library without actually needing to posses the files.
But I want the files
Great, this is where step 2 comes in. Once you start playing a song in Grooveshark, notice the spinning red, blue, and yellow ball logo next to the address bar (see: below)
Don’t click the spinning logo. Instead click the dropdown arrow next to it. This will populate a list of the downloadable media. This is where someone, in theory, could download the current song that is playing. If they’re into that sort of thing.
For discovering new music to “adopt”
- Step 4 – Go to hypem.com
Hype Machine is a pretty amazing website. Their about page serves a good synopsis: “the Hype Machine keeps track of what music bloggers write about. We handpick a set of kickass music blogs and then present what they discuss for easy analysis, consumption and discovery”.
In other words it’s an RSS feed of great music blogs compiled into a simple layout. Why spend hours aimlessly digging through new music when there are talented people who will do it for you? Go to the Hype Machine’s “Popular” page to see what tracks are currently building the most buzz in the blogosphere. Welcome to a Utopian universe of streaming music presented by blog radio.
But I want the files.
Feels like déjà vu…
Again, play the song, wait for spinning logo, click drop down arrow, and then you could (if you wanted to) click to download. I don’t encourage that. But who am I to judge?
(Note: sometimes it’s difficult to get the right track to appear in the download list. To remedy, simply click on the “read full post” portion of the song, play the song from that link, and the correct download file should appear – if that’s what you’re into.)
And thus concludes today’s lesson in how to become a Better Internet Music Adoption and Discovering Machine.
With great power comes great responsibility. I’m not entirely sure how that applies, but you could interpret that by clicking the new Facebook “like” button at the top of this post. You could also fight crime. It’s your choice.