By Any Means Necessary

Finding new, free music without Napster


These guys may have yet to make a profit, but music hounds who visit them have profited in spades. Not only does Amazon offer discounted discs, artist info and sound samples, but over the past few years, they have also developed elaborate rating and recommendation systems to point you toward new artists. Editors and fans alike submit reviews and create lists of their favorite items. You can even save fellow fans who share your tastes to a Friends List so you can check them periodically or be notified when they post something else. If you're into Sting and the Dave Matthews Band, the recommendations may be pretty far-flung (in either case, put the Weekly down and tune into Star 98.7), but if Lambchop or Heavy Vegetable is more your thing, your recs are likely to be right on.

Depending on the level of your Internet connection, tech-guru status and supply of patience, one or all of these suggestions will keep you in a steady flow of new artists and music. Trust me—considering the time you've probably spent tweaking TV and radio antennas, rolling your eyes during the World's Most Overplayed Song and returning crappy albums to the store, it's a total payoff.

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