Where do my friends find their music?
I have a pretty decent music collection. The majority of my collection comes from my friends. It’s really merciful that ALL of my friends, family and significant others have always been crazy music lovers with great musical taste. Thank you Universe for letting me reap these benefits.
Recently music’s taken on a larger role in my life and since I”ve never been on a “music search” I am left scratching my head asking “so… where do I look to find music?”
This question has lead me to what I think is a better question, “where do my friends find their music?”
So, I began the music scavenger hunt by with having “music discussions” with some friends of mine…
1. Do you look for music? Why?
Chris: Yes. Music inspires, frees the mind, clears the head, makes your own abstract thoughts relevant.
Michelle: Yes & no. Often, my friends introduce me to enough new music… but can’t remember when I last listened to the radio. There’s very little music I like that is played on popular radio music stations these days.
Dawn: No, not on a regular basis because my husband constantly shops for it.
Natasha: Yes, I love music… It brings people together.
2. How do you go about looking for music?
Chris: Yes, All my searches for music stem from what I hear on the radio, TV shows the tonight shows have had some good guests, especially Carson Daly* or I look bands up based on friend recommendations. iTunes has excellent album/ artists reviews— very well written. *Is it true Carson Daly has good musical guests?
Amy: I ask friends or check out the playlists on radio station’s websites and because I work at a radio station I ask the DJs. When I find music I like I download it off BitTorrent (but shh it’s not legal)!
Michelle: I ask friends who are way cooler than me. Spotify is handy for this. I subscribe to both SPIN & Rolling Stone magazine. I also read websites like hypebeast regularly and subscribe to newsletters. And when all else fails, the iTunes’ Genius recommendations are usually pretty spot on.
Dudley: I have a variety of ways to look for music. I take friends suggestions, I might hear something in passing and “SHAZAM” it. Also, internet radio like Pandora and Spotify have really opened my eyes on different artist that are similar in taste.
Max: (annoyed) Liz, you won’t go on hype machine; so I don’t know what to tell you (pause) go on SoundHound it will work for you.
3. Where do you look to find music?
Chris: iTunes or certain web pages that offer free downloads using a 3rd party provider, but it’s gotten more difficult to get free music.
Dawn: Focused sites per genre.
Natasha: I mostly find songs/bands I like through friends, but sometimes I look through suggested music on iTunes that is similar to my taste. And on Torrent sites.
4. What type of music do you look for? Does that influence where you look for it?
Chris: The type of music doesn’t really influence where I look for it.
Amy: I look for music that I like the beat to, that I can sing along with/dance to. It does influence what radio stations websites I go to, for sure.
Sunny: I look for folk, pop, rock, classical and no it doesn’t influence where I look for it.
Dudley: Because my taste vary, the only thing that is the common thread that links them together is the way it makes me feel and most tracks have a heavy base or vocal component. The type of music doesn’t influence where I look for music.
5. What constitutes good music to you?
Chris: Honestly I like any music with a beat, but lyrics are very important to make it well rounded music.
Michelle: I love the juxtaposition of different styles or tempos of music within one song. I’m also very lyrically driven in my taste in music. While music is a social thing, I also think it’s an intensely personal thing.
Sunny: I like different music for different occasions.
Dudley: Good music to me has a melody, good vocals, it doesn’t have to be catchy but it should make you feel something. almost like a temporary escape.
6. What would you call your musical taste? (create your own personal genre)
Amy: Hip Hop, R&B with a little mix of soultown funk or motown.
Michelle: Rock laced with lots of blues and soul, some punk & neo-psychodelia.
Dawn: Operatic soul.
Natasha: Rap Hop with a dash of dance party.
Sunny: Soft edgy.
Dudley: Grove, soul, pop, gospel, Dance/house R&B kid.
7. Why do you look for music?
Chris: Music clears the head like a thunderstorm or a spell of isolation— it inspires forward liberal thinking and enables you to connect with the rest of the world.
Dawn: To help communicate my own emotions.
Dudley: I look to music to motivate, inspire and escape reality.
5 Things that my Curiosity Taught Me/Lead Me to:
1. Max’s recommendation of SoundHound is perfect for me! Where ever I am and however music is being played I can record a portion of the song thru the Soundhound application on my phone (which is always with me!) and it will tell me the song, musician and all the album details. The paid for version of the app also plays the lyrics along with the song. I’m still learning about it, but this feature alone is amazing and combined with other features of social media and music sharing it could easily become my favorite. I love this “Point-Know-Buy” because just like so many other apps I instantly get the information I am searching for and am given the decision of the next step.
2. Most people find their music from friends. So far, the other popular places to find music are: iTunes music genius, Spotify, Shazam, music newsletters, SPIN and Rolling Stone magazine, Pandora, YouTube and some the radio.
3. I don’t listen to the radio. I don’t even know the stations, really. The only time I listen to the radio is when my CDs don’t work in my car (unfortunately there’s no way to attach an iPod in my car, but it has helped lead me to my search for music). When I walk around the city, I flip between a couple different playlists on my iPhone.
*side note: What are the good radio stations in the bay area?
4. Music is very personal and it also brings people together. I was surprised to learn that my friends liked a lot of different kinds of music but all like their music for the same reason—that it moves them emotionally, it helps them express themselves and makes them feel connected to something larger. My friends liked more different types of music than I expect and more than they advertise or talk about listening to. That made me smile and feel less behind on my music search.
5. I learned that asking my friends about how they find their music would would give way to a million more questions. Such as where do you listen to music? When do you listen to music. Where do you notice music? Where do you hear music the most? Who is your favorite artist? How do you purchase your music? Do you purchase your music? Do you like music communities? Do you like online music communities? Do you belong to any music communities? Do you like sharing where you find your music? Do you like sharing what type of music you like? Do you like talking about music? Could you go 1 week without music?… (and so many more)…
VIDEO See the Record Player in action, here: 8MM iPhone app recording a record player
BRAIN DUMP: Could the highly popular “retro trend” be adapted to or influence he music scene? Is there some sort of possible connection here? Will this trend affect more other product categories, consumer behaviors and/or culture itself? Will it affect how we listen to music (such as listening devices or communities, not necessarily how we purchase it)? A friend recently bought a record player and then went and spent hundreds of all dollars on records of music she already owns on iTunes because it just sounds so much better. Before this assignment I filmed her record player playing as a few people hung out at her apartment with my iPhone’s retro video app, 8MM. The entire scene is definitely a throwback to a time of sitting around drinking in wine and music, which is ironically shown thru the 8MM and in reality that night of hanging out was different. Sitting around listening to music on a record was different than listen to music off of an iPod. It was more of an event. There was a whole other element added to the room. See the video below.
Side note: I wonder if newspaper readership has gone up since the introduction of the iPad?