A Great Source For Music Discovery

Set up your own personal radio station in Apple Music.

A while ago I subscribed to Apple Music so I could have some choons on my iPhone while cycling. I then discovered I could have my own personal radio station in Apple Music which is a mixture of tracks from favourite albums I downloaded into Apple Music and some tracks Apple Music believes are similar to my favourites.

You simply download a few of your favourite albums and tracks so the algorithm can get some pointers for the type of music you like. You can also flag tracks suggested by Apple Music as ‘love’ or ‘suggest less like this’ to refine your personal algorithm.

I have discovered so many great artists and albums just listening to my personal radio station, and it is so entertaining.

Apple Music is £9.99 per month, has a vast library and is great value IMV. As my phone contract has unlimited minutes and loads of free data, like most these days, I can listen for free while on the move.

Apologies if this is old news.

A kind of Roon radio when cycling, I presume.

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I understand the attraction but I’ve never understood the idea of discovering music similar to what you already have. I’d get very bored very quickly.

The algorithm seems to explore within a genre it associates with your downloads and ‘love’ flags, rather than like artists. I initially downloaded albums I would enjoy on a sedate cycle ride. It seems to give me more hits than misses this way.

I suspect if I initially downloaded disparate genres the algorithm might have got confused.

The tracks it has suggested are mostly from artists that are dissimilar enough that I don’t get bored. If I don’t like something I flag ‘Suggest Less Like This’, and skip to the next suggestion.

I got a 3 month free trial with Apple Music, so as long as you remember to cancel, there is no risk.

I’m not sure that wearing earbuds (or headphones) while cycling is a good idea? Especially not if they have good exclusion of external noise. For road cycling it arguably may be against the Highway Code. On shared paths it is a hazard with all too many pedestrians wearing earbuds, oblivious to their surroundings and blocking the path for anyone moving faster than they are, and sometimes not even aware of others approaching from in front!

That aside, the service indeed might suit people who like random music selection, with certainties mixed in.

To be clear, I am not recommending cycling while wearing earbuds. Will we next be asking drivers to keep their car audio systems off? I am sure forumites are able to make their own decisions without ‘nannying’.

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It’s great value but it’s too difficult to get hi res or even CD quality through our expensive streamers. I’ll be glad when it is possible so I can ditch my other subscription as I simply don’t want an additional service.

I remain of the view that there’s a significant difference between being curated by an algorithm and actual discovery. Two entirely different concepts. I’ve yet to find any satisfaction in an algorithm which recommends me tepid, second rate versions of what I already have.

How do you discover new music?

I keep an eye on the “What are you listening to” thread on these forums. Have discovered a number of artists where both the wife and I like them, and some I like (but that’s fine as I have the house to myself four days a week!)

Once you start looking up these artists on Tidal then you get the back catalogue, related artists etc. Off down the rabbit hole I go.

Downside is that my “Daily Discovery” feed on Tidal is now almost completely random, as it’s based on what I’ve been searching :laughing:

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There are of course many ways to discover music, and I use more than one.

Apple Music My Radio is simply a convenient way of listening to a mixture of your own music (you have saved to Apple Music) and some new stuff (based on your saved music) while you are on the go or exercising, so there is no need to continuously fiddle with your iPhone.

If you are served up a track that is not for you, simply tap forward to the next offering. This is just a hands free way of listening to some music - that’s all.

They’re not as good as in ear phones, but aftershokz are fairly good for listening on the move, they sit on the skull and let you hear normally as well as what they’re playing. Rubbish bass, but you get the musical idea

I am happy with my Qobuz subscription and the ‘What are you listening to…’ thread along with the music threads such as jazz, classical, folk, what releases are you looking forward to, what is the latest music you downloaded, what was the last vinyl/CD you bought, etc…

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I tend to gravitate towards the new releases heading in Tidal/Qobuz. I also use Roon although not all the time, If I know what I specifically want to listen to I tend to lean towards the native apps, as in Naim, Linn or Sonos respectively.
Roon Radio is handy to just keep the tunes rolling once you made a starting point as well.

Apple have many human curated lists. Search for “new jazz” or “new electronica”. They are updated maybe once a week. You can find out who curates them but I only know how to do this via their API:s.

This was much better in the old Beats Music before Apple took over. There magazines like Downbeat and so on had their area and it included new and interesting releases.

Just like radio :slight_smile:

Thanks but I don’t use Apple Musuc at this point. Just Qobuz and Tidal although the latter was mostly the 17 year old until the recent integration within Innuos Sense app. That aside I’m simply not interested in being curated.

Regressive as it may be I prefer to retain as much of the magic of my teens and early 20s as is practical i.e. I’m less interested in more of the same than I am in hearing something new. Nothing is especially new nowadays but there are still great individual voices to be found with a distinctive world view. Curation does not tend to be the route for that. So, I prefer the modern day equivalent of the weekly music papers i.e. the monthly mags and the low key blogs of enthusiasts. I prefer the occasional random discovery of an artist or band via their support slot. I prefer live gigs at small venues where you can see the whites of the eyes of performers destined for a bigger stage fairly quickly. I prefer, above all, chance.

It won’t be everyone’s experience but some of the very worst, most tepid, drab music I have ever tried has come off hi-fi forums.

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