Music lovers just need to click to create their own music station

Music lovers here are a weird lot. Though they're not walking down the road with a boombox stuck to their ears, you can still find them stuck to their iPod or dishing out music reviews at any given opportunity. To add to their passion for tunes, many internet radio and dedicated websites are out to encourage user-prompted radio/ music sharing stations to help promote and discover new music and artistes.

www.last.fm, www.blip.fm, www.soundcloud.com and www.grooveshark.com are just some of them where you can start your own station, play your music and let the world know what genres you like. It's also a chance to meet like-minded music fans, discover new artists and increase your music collection.

Says Falak Mulchandani, who has a virtual station, “last.fm offers a more structured alternative to YouTube, music forums, blogs and review sites as you'll see a lot less of random accounts created every other day to argue whether a band is good or bad, how it compares to some other artists or fits into a genre. Scrobbler and a profile need to be built up with time so you're more likely to stumble upon genuine opinions, meet like-minded people and talk about and share music.”

While last.fm gives you the option of downloading a Scrobbler which then recognises songs from your media player (iTunes, Windows Media Player and Winamp are compatible) and updates your station automatically with your latest tunes. Another option is to search for songs on its virtual library and update them on your station. Every band also has its own radio station. You can follow other people with similar music tastes or vice versa. blip.fm is similar. It allows you to search audio and even videos to blip on your station. You can check out other DJs, give them props if you like a song or listen to them and even re-blip their songs. The site also gives awards for various achievements.

“Soundcloud is an avenue for me to develop my own skills as an amateur guitarist. I upload my creations and my contacts give me feedback. I can also discover people with similar tastes and learn more about recording styles and little nuances that I can use,” says Siddarth Mahesh.

Soundcloud is a bit of an original, where you can mix songs or create your own and upload for others to listen. It's a stepping stone for upcoming artists to get their original music online. You can even get a licence there to protect your work. grooveshark is a more personal music space where you can search for your favourite artists or songs and share or upload through your personal library. You can add other music lovers and join communities to chat. They also give you a choice of downloading the songs you like.

“Depending on how a friend might like the song you recommend, grooveshark might actually help save download/buying time. And considering the large database of songs available, there couldn't be an easier place to discover artists and genres previously unknown to a person,” says Varun Sridhar.

While last.fm and grooveshark also have internet radios where you can listen to international stations, all four sites were created for basically one reason; to spread the love for music.

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Anusha ParthasarathyJune 28, 2012