5 Great Sites for Listening to Music on the Web

One of the things I've found harder and harder over the last ten years, and I know I'm not alone on this, is dealing with the many thousands of pieces of content I have on an increasing number of computers and hard drives.  This has been the most difficult with music and photos, and only exacerbated by my move to Mac this year due to file and organization incompatibilities.  So as hard as I try, and as much as I work to rebuild and refine my collections on each new computer, each transition more and more gets cut.  In particular, I'm starting to realize it takes way too much effort than it's worth to maintain an up-to-date music collection.

But I do love music, and I love finding new music, so how am I replacing the thousands of MP3's I've collected?  I'm becoming obsessed with the plethora of amazing places on the web to discover and stream music.  The websites below comprise the current roster of music sources that I rely on daily.  Each of them has a different model for music discovery and recommendation, and access to different sources of music.  But they all have a mix of known and unknown, and they all provide a really enjoyable listening experience.  So without further ado:

1) The Sixty One
My current favorite, a site I visit daily at home and at work. A great source for popular indie + independent music, and a beautiful site to boot.  As songs play you get full-page photos, facts of the bands, and fan commentary displaying on the page.  The community helps songs rise, so make sure to sign-up and vote.  Don't forget to try out the different playlists available in the top-right corner.

2) We Are Hunted
Great site for listening to music that's popular on the web.  They index all sorts of sites and social networks, and let you stream the 99 most popular songs in a variety of categories.  The 'popular' category is usually pretty mainstream, but there are also tons of ways to discover new stuff.  Try different things like visiting the 'app' section to listen to music being actively shared on Twitter.

3) Pandora
Pandora probably isn't new to anyone, but I couldn't leave it off the list.  It's still the best streaming radio site ever invented.  It's the most reliable way to get  a full station of music you really like, on your computer or on the go via the killer mobile apps.  If you use Pandora on Mac check out PandoraJam, which gives you a desktop app that sync's with last.fm and has other cool features you might want.

4) Hype Machine
These guys describe themselves as "Discover music blogs worth listening to", and that's the general idea.  The front page is an aggregate of the most popular songs based on coverage from a curated list of music blogs.  The music is very indie and lately seems to include too much techno remix, but it's still a great place to find new music and best of all it has a useful search engine.

5) Tumblr
This last one might be a surprise since Tumblr is so much more than just music, but right from the beginning one of the site's primary uses has been to share songs.  Many Tumblr users post their favorite songs along with the rest of their creative output; the trick is to find the right Tumblr users to match your taste- both with music and other content.  Here are a few of mine: Fred Wilson, Bijan, Tuneage.