How to find great new music in 2024
Shop Local (Bands):
The first suggestion is to find local bands in your area for the freshest new music available, buy direct from the artists whenever possible, and tell your friends about the bands you love.
Your Local Library – A Treasure Trove For Music and More:
A source you may not be familiar with is your local library. In my opinion, libraries are a vast wealth of music to discover, and many of them allow you to check out anywhere from ten CDs at a time up to an unlimited amount of CDs, as is the case over at Elk Grove Public Library. Even if you have a card at a different library, you may be able to check out materials from there. Please contact circulation staff to confirm.
Some CD limits at libraries:
Chicago Public Library: Up to 10 audiovisual materials
Rockford Public Library: Up to 10 CDs
Schaumburg Public Library: Up to 100 items (fine free library)
Skokie Public Library: Up to 200 items for Skokie residents, 50 for non-residents
Springfield Public Library: Up to 10 CDs
For other libraries near you, please visit: Library Technology Guides
You can expect to find your Taylor Swift, Post Malone, and Billie Eilish CDs at every library. However, some libraries may also carry unexpected gems in genres like Metal, Rap, and Punk, to name a few more extreme genres. There are definite differences in what each library carries, including some libraries where you can even find some CD singles or box sets of artists; a rare site indeed!
With access to that much music, you will find a ton of great music to match your style. Once you find music that moves you, please consider buying it from the artists or online retailers.
Since running from library to library is not a realistic option, you can request music from other libraries through their interlibrary loans. In most cases, they can send the CD directly to your local library.
Libraries offer many more items you can borrow including video games, movies, toys/games, iPads, GoPro cameras, Kindles, Chromebooks, and more!
Many also offer non-music related services, like: AV Recording Studio (record videos/podcasts), 3D printing, Book A Librarian (research/job search, etc.), museum passes, and much more!
Don’t have a library card? You can get one easily with any of the following proof of ID:
Driver’s license or state ID
Voter ID card
Lease or mortgage statement
Firearm Owner’s Identification card
Please check with you local library for their proof of ID that requirements and to confirm services offered at your location.
As long as you have a library card, you can utilize other (online) services to expand your reach for great new music. One platform is called hoopla, and in their words, “hoopla puts your public library at your fingertips. Anytime. Everywhere!” hoopla allows you to borrow audiobooks, eBooks, comics, movies, magazines, and, of course, music. You are only able to stream materials but can do so across all of your devices, making it easier to enjoy.
Another platform you should check out is called, Freegal Music+. Working with the library system, they provide cardholders five free (licensed) downloads and up to three hours of streaming per week per card.
Freegal Music+ offers over 18 million songs in over 200 genres and updates monthly. While not every library participates with Freegal Music+, the downloads provided are done for noncommercial purposes only, and yes, you can keep the downloads forever and enjoy them on Android and iPhone devices as well.
To use either of these services, you will need to contact your local library and they will be able to assist you in setting up your accounts.
Additional online platforms:
AccuRadio Online: https://www.accuradio.com/
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/browse
YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/
Where do you find new music? Do you have a favorite platform you’d like to share with me? Email me here at: DKelly@ChicagoMusicGuide.com
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