How do you find out about the music you buy?

How do you find out about the music you buy?
16% (29 votes)
Magazine reviews
40% (71 votes)
Word of mouth
12% (21 votes)
Record store
9% (16 votes)
Internet reviews/samples
6% (11 votes)
Live venues
2% (3 votes)
Other (please explain)
16% (28 votes)
Total votes: 179

The world used to be a simple place, where a record would sell only if it was big on the radio. These days, folks get their information about music from all over the map. Where do you get yours?

Dave Nelson's picture

DMX Digital Cable Radio.

Karl Murtagh's picture

Once it was the huge cost of albums that made record companies shudder but with that figure being dwarved by the rising cost of video production what record company will take chances with talent over commerciality? Guess who loses out there? Certainly not Boyz to Men or Mariah Carey but how long shall we have to wait fot the next Radiohead?



D.  Levertson's picture

Due to MTV and VH-1 influencing what today's people want on the radio, it seems like the only reasonable way to find out about recordings is through people who have varied tastes. Everything on the radio today seems to be the same.

Reverend Tim's picture

All of the above and more. I've never really had to look for good music---it has a way of finding me. My ever-depleting bank accounts are proof of this.

Wes Basel's picture

Choose One? Anyone relying on only one source for info on new recordings loves his equipment more than his music. I choose: radio, magazine reviews, internet samples, word of mouth, and live venues, in that order. Record store was number two until my favorite lost their lease two years ago.

Hardy Kramer's picture

Primarily Radio, but occaisionally if I can't get the song title from listening I go to a club and ask the dj when I here the song I like.

Lance Fehr's picture

I have a fabulous tube sound system from the 60s for $120 from second hand stores. maybe I shouldn't have said that.

Jan Middeldorf's picture

radio, magazine

Eoin Redmond's picture

Also word of mouth though Stereophile CD reviews are great because I get some idea of how well the CD has been recorded. Why doesn't Stereophile release a set of guidelines for recording studios, bands and engineer. I'm sure bands would like this because most of them want their releases to sound great.

Ray Leonard's picture

Music Club (Columbia & BMG) catalogs and magazines provide mentions of selections I would never think of going to a music store to look for.

MacGregor Rucker's picture

Okay, I'm cheating. I can't pick only one source from your list, so I have to say, "All of the Above." In the NY metro area, we've been blessed for more than 20 years with a radio program called "Idiot's Delight." Hosted by Vin Scelsa, it's the last free-form program on commercial radio that I know of. On any given Sunday night, he'll treat you to tunes ranging from the Ramones to Coltrane to Tom Waits to Hank Williams Sr. to Brahms. This program has been my foremost source of new music since the late '70s. The only magazine reviewer I trust implicitly is Richard Lehnert. Thanks, Richard! Word of mouth factors in heavily. There are several small record stores that I frequent, where I have a relationship with staffers who've taken the time to learn my tastes. (Thanks go out to Soundtracks in Park Slope, Brooklyn.) is a great source. They offer recommendations that correspond to your selections. And, last but not least, live venues . . . though cost sometimes inhibits experimentation in unfamiliar musical territory.

Sean's picture

FM Radio is also an invaluable source of preview.

Rick Blank's picture

In the past few years I have come to really enjoy decent jazz recordings and artists. There are very few jazz radio stations that play anything but "smooth" jazz formats, so imagine my delight when I hooked up a digital satellite and found the music channels. I have one of the Sony SAT-A2 receivers with the TosLink digital output fed into my Audio Alchemy DTI v2.0 and DDE v1.2. The audio quality is somewhere between a decent FM broadcast and CD-quality audio . . . not bad for previewing new music. I also pick up the magazine Jazziz at one of the local bookstores and listen to the included CD to hear artists that I would not otherwise. I have also bought CDs that I previewed at listening stations in music stores.

Jim Causey's picture

Finding new music has been the greatest joy of entering the high-end community. This is mitigated somewhat, however, by the relative paucity of good tunes that are also well-recorded.'s picture

Radio. Great source. Crappy sound.

Anonymous's picture


Sergey Gurevich's picture

Also, I get music news from friends and radio.

Bill McDonald's picture

I wish I had access to a large library of jazz and classical selections to sample from. When hearing a piece I like, the next question is, What about the rest of the CD? What about the recording quality? It's frustrating to find that if either of the above suffers, then I'm sorry I purchased it. I did agree with JA on his music to die for last spring. In fact, I wish more time was spent on the music to balance all of the equipment reviews. Great equipment but poor music = poor music.

John Valvano's picture

It's a toss-up between the internet and magazine reviews. My free music-listening time is limited, so I spend it listening to the music I enjoy rather than trying to find new stuff. To keep on top of the rock music I like, I try to keep up with newsgroups and find samples on the net. Classical, jazz, and blues I usually find through paper magazine reviews. I rarely listen to FM radio because, for the most part, stations around the country are owned by the same parent company and play the same stuff over and over ad nauseam. Even if the music is new, the format of FM stations sickens me and takes the enjoyment out of music, so I don't listen. There are enough sources these days to keep up with music that I enjoy that I don't have to rely on the radio.

Mario Cassar's picture

It is very 'safe' to mail order compact discs,based on music magazines reviews, as there is the 'certainty' that the technical quality will be spot on. Unfortunately, and although I have a good selection of these 'audiophile' recordings, I end up listening to 'other' music, which perhaps is less technically correct, but more emotionally pleasing.

Xavier Barrett's picture

Radio stinks, unless all you want to hear is musical pablum by the same old same old. Magazine reviews have got to be the most worthless means of determining what I like, because the reviewers are so narrowly focused on a single type of music and don't seem to care if they like it or not, only that it meets some ill-conceived definition of "artistic." Whatever hapened to talent?

Brian A.  Meighan's picture

Toronto has several record-review FM radio programs that are entertaining and thoughtful.

Thomas M.  Walker's picture

Cheapest way to listen first then buy.

David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

With so many homogenized radio stations, finding new music has become a real challenge. Friends' recommendations and reviews help, but I used to get a lot from the radio. Nowdays I find little.

Robert Pursell's picture

Nowadays, the radio plays mostly top 40 hits . . . most of my record buys come from recommendations by friends.

Leon Vick's picture

Given the discounts available and the scarcity of classical music sellers in Raleigh, I do most of my selecting and buying via the Columbia House and BMG monthly bulletins. I may look for a recording recommended in a magazine, but will most likely look for it at the clubs.

Mike Andrews's picture

I get it from programs that highlight the music that I want to listen to. But all of the sources listed are where I get info.

Chazro's picture

My knowledge of the types of music I enjoy is my greatest resource. I've pretty much stopped reading the audio journals and mainly stick to the music mags. I scan the audio journals and if I see anything worthwhile musically that's worth 5-8 bucks I'll pick it up.

UItz's picture

and radio in the car