Bandcamp’s Discoverinator: A Few Tips

A few weeks ago the music site HypeBot presented an article that was critical of Bandcamp’s new Discoverinator software.  While they remained supportive of the site itself, the author found the new tool lacking in considerable ways.  Without sounding too much like an internet meme, we’d like to suggest that perhaps you’re, “doing it wrong.”  For our readers and users of Bandcamp’s groovy new tool, we’d like to offer some suggestions for making the most of the new tool.

1)      Sort Strategically – The tools at the top of the page provide several different ways to filter music by genre, popularity, and even release date.  Utilize these tools to filter what might suit your preferences.

2)      Have an Open Mind – Of course not every artist even within the genres you like will have the sound you’re looking for.  There are several artists we call “folk” around here, but they aren’t all Mumford and Sons.  Sometimes a band will have one great song and a terrible album.  Some of the greatest bands in history were that way!  Have some patience and hear out a few songs on an album.

3)      Be Willing to Move On – Don’t get frustrated if you find a few duds.  There are some people that are clearly delusional in the music industry.  American Idol predicates at least half of their show on people who think they are good singers.  Sadly, Bandcamp (and other similar sites) are indeed full of these types of artists.  Don’t take it personally.  Listen to 30 seconds of the song and click on the next album.  The band won’t be hurt.  They will never know.

4)      Share and Share Alike – When you find something that works, share it with your friends.  You might think that’s not a tip for using the tool.  Well, actually it is.  The more popular the albums are, the easier they are for the next person to find.  If you say “wow that band is great” and never tell anyone else about them, they will stay low on the lists.  Be sure to promote and share them.  Send suggestions here to EarToTheGround.  We’re happy to get suggestions on good bands out there (even if you aren’t in the band, or their groupie).

5)      Dedicate Some Time – The major problem with the user-friendliness of the Discoverinator is that it takes some time clicking around.  Instead of watching reruns of Law and Order or a movie you’ve seen a thousand times, put on a few albums and hear them out.  In the course of a movie, let’s say two hours, we almost guarantee you will find something good (especially if you follow our #1 piece of advice and sort for, say “folk, best-selling, most.”)

2 Comments Showing 50 most recent
  1. Yanir

    Just found this old post when looking for Bandcamp discovery resources. I completely agree — finding good music on Bandcamp takes time and patience. My Bandcamp recommendations tool tries to address it in a more automated way, by allowing you to explore personalized recommendations and similar albums. Even though I already used it to find new music that I really like, I had to scroll through a lot of music that I wasn’t too excited about.

    There’s definitely a lot more that can be done in the area, but I doubt it would ever be perfect. There’s just too much music out there and what you may want to listen to often depends on your mood, which is very hard for both humans and computers to detect.

    • admin

      Thanks for the comment Yanir.

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