A journal of running, healthy food, mountains, bikes and technology by Julia Revitt

When I rediscovered my cool gold iPod mini recently I decided to see if it would still work after a couple of years in it’s box. Low and behold it started up first time! So I had a look through the music on it and was shocked to discover that I’d got the same stuff on my iPhone now! I thought it’s time to find some new tunes but where do you find such things these days?

I don’t listen to the radio or watch TV so in my own insulated world I had no idea of what new music was out there. I was still listening to Duran Duran and Abba – the newest thing I’d listened to recently was Biffy Clyro and I didn’t technically discover them – Mr R did. So I got down to business…

Firstly, I tried the iTunes music store. I found if you put an artist into the search option and then scroll down the results page, there quite often is a section called ‘iTunes Essentials’. This nifty little idea allows you to look at similar artists and genres – for example, if I search Duran Duran I can go to ‘New Romantics’, ‘1981’, ’80’s pop’ etc. Choose one of these titles and then you get 3 layers of music – The Basics, Next Steps and Deep Cuts which get progressively deeper into the genre. You can choose to buy individual songs or the whole collection or just add them to your wish list for your next birthday. I discovered a love for ‘Acid Jazz’ by following iTunes Essentials from Jamiroquai!

Then I moved onto Last FM – an iPhone application that searches your music collection and makes recommendations. It plays the suggested songs one after the other like a radio station and you choose whether to ‘Like’ them or not and it learns on the go. From I found ‘Dead by Sunrise’ a spinoff from Chester Beddington of Linkin Park – to me it sounds like the album Linkin Park should have made instead of ‘Minutes to Midnight’.

And finally, for the iPad I found the Aweditorium app. It’s an amazing piece of free software and a fabulous idea. You load the application which then presents a series of pictures which look like album covers. Click on any one you like the look of and it will play the song, give you details on the artist, allow you to ‘Like’ it and purchase it through iTunes. The artists are not well known – I haven’t heard of any of them yet but I like that because you make you own decisions and are not influenced by anyone else. You can randomly work your way through the selections buying as you go and sharing on twitter. I bought albums from ‘Minipop’ and ‘Lelia Broussard’ but have about 99% still to listen to on the app.

So, if your music collection sounds like an 80’s collection or bores you to tears – rip it up with these ideas and you’ll soon be bopping round the living room with your cans on!