Music sites make managing files easy

By: Ben Louviere

Manage Your Music!

Track Your Tunes!

Lock Down Your Library!

We are creatures of rhythm — we are drawn to organization and order, continuity and fluidity. We like crisp, clean lines and patterns. Things work best when they are assembled and coordinated.

This may be what draws us, then, to music. The vibration of instruments resonates in those ears of yours, filling the space with the 1-2-3-4 of an infatuating melody. The sound floods your brain like the purest drug. The synths pop at just the right times, at just the right pitch, turning your drive to school into a quest through bubblegum happiness land.

Endless rhymes of our language are assembled into complex poetry with infinite possibility — they can stab into your most vulnerable emotions or convince you that you ball the hardest of them all (as long as the beat is fire, too).

Music is, in one sense, the collective human effort to encapsulate bits and pieces of the entire spectrum of human experience through auditory expression. Songs, albums, entire genres — they’re all fragments of other people (and ourselves) that we can choose to experience. Simply put, music is cool, and music can do some cool things for you. What’s exciting, too, is that we are by no means at a shortage of it. There’s an unbelieveable lot of it out there. With the amount of both variety and quantity, it can be seriously overwhelming — there simply isn’t enough time in the world to listen to it all. So, what should you listen to?

As an avid consumer and enjoyer of music, I’ve faced this debilitating question all too many times. Over the years, I’ve found a few ways to cope with this problem.

As creatures of rhythm, organizing sure helps. Much like writing about an experience, cataloging the musical experiences you’ve had provides a sense of fulfillment and consummation. Then, when the time comes and you find yourself faced with the, “What in the world should I listen to?” predicament, you may easily reflect on your prior experiences — what you loved, what you didn’t like as much, what you found interesting — and pursue a direction from there in the effort of enhancing your personal relationship with the music that you can call your own.

Here are some of my favorite online services to help you catalog your musical journey (for free!)

Last.fm

So, do you scrobble? Have you ever had thoughts of scrobbling? Have you ever been pressured to scrobble? Word on the street is that all the cool kids are scrobbling like crazy. What is scrobbling, you ask? “Scrobble” is a word created by the website “Last.fm” and it occurs when this website transfers your listening data, or “scrobbles” it, to their database and your Last.fm profile.

After creating an account, you can sync your Spotify account, iTunes and portable music devices to the website. Last.fm will not only catalog what you listen to, but from this data it will build a detailed profile of your taste and recommend artists that you may also enjoy.

Don’t use Spotify or iTunes? Not a problem. You can even stream your music from Youtube directly through the Last.fm website. Here you’ll also find videos, photos, lyrics, charts, artist biographies, concerts and news.

What more could you want, people? Get scrobbling!

Tapmusic

Who likes collages? I suppose you do. I mean, I really haven’t met anybody (yet) who is fervently opposed to collages. But then what about, let’s say, collages that are made up of the music you’re currently listening to. Those sound even cooler, am I right?

Look no further than Tapmusic.net. This simple site works in union with your Last.fm profile. Simply navigate to the site, enter your Last.fm username and select your preferences. Tapmusic will create a quilt of the music you’ve been listening to over the past week, several months or even your all-time most-played music.

This collage is rendered as a .jpg image, which you can save to a folder on your computer (along with the date, or however you organize your digital knick-knacks) and keep it to share your taste with your friends or all the mean people on the Internet, or simply to document what you’re listening to. *Note – because this works through Last.fm, you’ll need to ensure you’ve set up all of your devices to “scrobble.”

Rate Your Music (Movie buffs, check this out too!) 

Hey Metacritic — what gives? Rolling Stone — nope. The Needle Drop — who? Pitchfork — I hate you. And hey YOU — is your music good?

Why should other people get to decide if the music you’re listening to is “good?” With all these critics and ratings and opinions, it’s hard to listen to anything without some oppressing expectations — and that’s no fun.

With rateyourmusic.com (RYM), now you are the professional critic. RYM is a massive collaborative database that allows users to catalog, rate and review both albums and films. After listening to an album, simply search it in the database and assign it a rating out of 5 stars which you deem worthy. You can even customize what ratings mean on your profile. For example, a “3.5” on my profile is listed as “Good/Noteworthy” and a “4.5” means “Unbelievably Good.”

Not only is this a good way to get in touch with your perceptions and develop your personal taste, but it’s also a great way to collect and organize your tunes. After you rate an album or film, it goes into the catalog of ratings on your profile, which you can review and change at any time.

The “Charts” and “Lists” tabs on RYM also provide nearly limitless access to finding new music rated highly by other users. This is very useful for exploring genres by using the various filters available. So, get in there and proudly declare the best (and the worst, the not-too-bad and the pretty-good) music you listen to.

Just for fun: billclintonswag.com

Check out my profiles and show me yours!

http://www.last.fm/user/groovylouvy

https://rateyourmusic.com/~groovylouvy

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