So I sometimes find songs that I really like, but have no idea who the artist is. After hearing them for a few times, I'll try and pay attention to the lyrics and then when I get home I'll do a Google search for the lyrics and try and track the song down, then I usually buy it on iTunes. Since I mainly listen to NPR in the car, or to CD's I already own, I usually get exposed to these songs when I'm out and about. I've found some songs/artists that I really like because of it, but my music collection is pretty small. Yesterday I just bought one of those songs that's really catchy, Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. I want to find songs that I like as much, but don't really know how.
I've been thinking about how Netflix recommends movies based on ratings of songs, and I figured there had to be a similar service for music fans. I did a Google search, and sure enough I found several sites. I think I'm going to have fun exploring this.
So far, I've checked out Pandora. Easy to use: you punch in a favorite song or artist, and then it will create a station of similar songs. You can rate the songs as they come along so it will continue to customize the "radio station" it creates for you. Seems pretty cool so far.
The other is a place called Last.fm. This was rated highly by a website calling itself "ExtremeTech." You can read the complete article, which rates several services, here. This seems to be a bit more compreshensive. You download a program and it will look at your iTunes playlists and music choices and then comes up with recommendations based on what you have in your music collection already. I haven't yet explored this one much, but I think it holds promise.