Gathering Your Summer Beats

This post was inspired by the words of Nicki Minaj:

This one is for the boys with the boomin’ system
Top down, AC with the coolin’ system
When he come up in the club, he be blazin’ up

If you’re like most 18 year-olds anticipating an adventurous summer after graduating from high school just days ago, then you’re probably in search of fresh new tracks to heighten the mood of your summer escapades. Leave the dirty work to a number of music blogs and file hosts that aggregate the most popular recently released tracks. The real fun music exploration lies in the curation of your own playlists. Quite a few new music sites have gained significant traction and have become my source for new music in the past year. pioneered the crowd-sourced playlist strategy in 2010, and now they simply assemble playlists from made mostly by college students. Personally, I’d rather use the crowd-sourced mixtapes as inspiration for my own playlists.

To describe the best part of music playlist curation, I’d like to borrow a quote from Tom Preston-Werner, founder of GitHub:

I could craft it however I pleased, and there was nobody telling me what to do. This feeling of control and ownership of something you own is intoxicating.

Yes, believe it or not, the feeling of having your own perfectly relevant playlist can possibly prompt you to hit the loop button many more times.

Here are a few services that I frequent in search of new music:

SoundCloud has the best music player on the internet, period. (Thanks in part to their $10m in funding from Union Square Ventures.) The music consumption experience is better on SoundCloud than anywhere else on the web. You can play, download, and share the track all in the same spot. Take a look yourself and play a track by one of the users that I check for updates regularly, FreshOnCampus.
Till The World Ends (Mixin Marc & Tony Svejda Midwest Mix) by Fresh On Campus is the most routinely updated music blog that I know of, and it often rakes in a lot of the best new music and remixes on a daily basis. My experience on the site can be summed up into the two playlists on the top right of the screen: Top New Tracks and Bangers. Visit each of these playlists often for easy to find ear candy.

Finally the last gig on the music discovery tour is From my previous experience on the site, they prefer to have quality music over quantity. They seem to be a bit more conscientious about what content is being added to their blog, which will make it perfect for you if you just want to quickly grab a new song.

Perhaps one day Spotify will finalize their negotiations with the US record labels and we will never have problems with music access ever again. Until then… get rolling with your new mixtape on that boomin’ system!

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06 2011