This is the question I posed to my social networks (twitter, facebook and friendfeed) Saturday evening. I asked folks to be specific. Here are the Top 20 sources I got back as of 7pm ET Sunday February 8, 2009:

I got 76 total responses. If one person mentioned three sources, that is three responses. Radio was very, very low on the list as I expected. Several folks mentioned music blogs in general or specific sites. The blogs cited were OkayPlayer, Gorilla vs Bear, Che Sing The Cool and Brooklyn Vegan.

Some interesting comments that accompanied a few of the responses (names redacted):

  • pandora, friends, 101.9 RXP in NYC, and oddly enough if i like a song enough from a commercial to wanna track it down i will

  • I'm finding new stuff from the DJs at Cafe Wellstone on Second Life - works, too

  • When I'm starting a new genre, I find's articles incredibly helpful. Their subdivisions are pure music geekery: you get sample lists of key albums for, say, Chicago blues, jump blues, Delta blues, piano blues, acoustic blues, and on and on...and that's just blues.

  • OK - I may be 100 years old compared to y'all - but did you notice that only one of us mentioned radio? I am old enough to remember when radio was THE place to hear a new song. Funny...

  • typically for music - use to like Pandora but that was before they had to geotard themselves

  •, Friendfeed, and opening bands at concerts. And, sadly, iPhone commercials

  • iTunes/Genius. Books good, TV bad (except Lost & BSG - WOM)

Why is this on my mind? I don't listen to music on the radio anymore, except for whatever is blasting out of a car driving past me. Of course, my friends play a big role, and for a while, my subscription came with regular mp3 packs that were awesome, but they've stopped doing that. I also would get the occasional promo playlist from iTunes for members of the Apple Facebook group/fan page. I've found some of my best music via TV shows. The O.C. introduced me to Imogen Heap, and Gossip Girl brought me MGMT.

My posting this question was part of a larger interest I have in how the explosion of media choice, social media tools and distributed network technology affect us. I used to think these thoughts for a living and still love to philosophize about our networked future. On Friday, I was interviewed by a NY Times reporter for a story about people who've canceled their cable in favor of an all-online video diet. That's another big blog post, but I'll give you a hint: Boxee made it possible.

Back to music for now though. So I've been thinking on all this and realize that our technology has dismantled the former aggregation model for music. We used to have record labels, radio stations, music reviews and sage wisdom from record store clerks (and our friends) to help us make sense of the world by limiting, vetting, categorizing or explaining the wide world of music. Now, we have new points of aggregation: our iPods/iTunes and various other online services. We've dismantled the old world, but the new one is still under construction. Massive choice with incomplete filters makes for a confusing market.

For example, iTunes is my primary music interface. However, it is closed to the world of trusted curators and music advisors in my life. I'd love to have an iTunes experience that is filtered or influenced by OkayPlayer, the music my wife likes and Pandora's music genome engine. But I can't do that. I've got to go through different interfaces to access these curators though the technical ability to do what I want is (nearly?) possible.

I'm done rambling for now. More thoughts on the future of media in the future.

Meanwhile, you can get full access to my raw unscientific music source survey data via this Google Spreadsheet. As I was about to post this, someone on FriendFeed pointed me to Adam Lasnik's Google Spreadsheet which provides a directory of online music services. If you're on FriendFeed, you can join the discussion (sadly, twitter and Facebook make it impossible to point people to a specific conversational thread).