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A music discovery site used in over 1M videos and games (ccmixter.org)
379 points by mkesper 5 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 50 comments

The title made it sound like the discovery engine is used in games. So I took a look, but it seems to be the music is used in games.

If you are as music-crazy as me, try this discovery site:


It is my daily driver to discover new music.

Gave it a shot. Put in 3 musicians/groups I love. I got 11 suggestions, I knew 7 of them already. Out of all the suggestion only one of them had any kind embedded media (Youtube) sample, that's it, no links or anything else for the other ones. I'll give it a shot with more main stream bands and see if that changes, could just be the genre/groups I chose.

Pretty neat and on point as far as the suggestions I did recognize though. Wish there at least a basic outgoing link for each suggestion

In a few seconds you got 4 new music recommendations? I gotta try this.

It told me I'd like the music of Women: http://www.gnoosic.com/artist/women

I don't know what to do with this information

Look them up on Discogs.com for more info. I typically preview bands I find from my own sources using Youtube, soundcloud and bandcamp.

Also Women formed another band called Viet Cong, and then after getting rolling had some pushback on the name, changed their name to Preconceptions. Great band, saw them live at Desert Daze last year.

Also one of the band members recently tweeted something about wanting to hear more Women so they might be reforming.

Jokes on you, Women is a really awesome band, greatly respected and missed by those in the know.

Wow, nice job. Women is one of my favorite bands.

I randomly get these weird urges to build playlists around certain bands or songs, so this sort of service helps a lot. The others I use, which take way more work, are last.fm, rate your music and Pandora.

This is especially vague combined with the Facebook ad: ‘Start reacting today. Connect to the world’.

Listening to the music of: women. Sounds like I’m starting at the very basics.

A link to wiki wouldn't hurt here

Would you say the 7 you already knew are similar to the 3 you entered?

I clicked on the link without much expectations, a broken HTTPS configuration is never a good sign, but I'm actually surprised by the results. It suggests the obvious similar artists, but also some very unknown artists with very few listeners on Spotify, but similar music.

The other website https://www.music-map.com/ is also interesting. It appears that I'm not very original in my music tastes.

Seems like this is also a part of Gnod. Thanks for sharing

Does anyone have any insight into how this is built?

Couldn't find a lot of info, but the creator Marek Gibney was featured in an MIT Tech Review article.

“If 90 percent of the readers of Douglas Hofstadter also like [Stephen] Hawking, the distance between these two writers in the Hofstadter-Hawking dimension is 0.1,” Gibney says.


Thank you

It's worked well for me: [Bob Dylan, Yacht, Bjork] => Halfby. Recommendation makes sense, and triggers fond memories of feeding last.fm :) I like the agency in this site.

I didn't enter any lo-fi artists and ended up in a lo-fi rabbit hole. Not complaining though

Same here. I put in Carsick Cars, Spacemen 3 (Gnod didn't have The Men), and Sun City Girls. What I got was Moonbell, Water Fai, etc. Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 was close to what I was looking for, but only in the way a Hot Pocket is like a burrito.

Just tried that and it seems potentially useful (except that it recommended two of the three bands I'd stated I liked in the first place). Thanks for the recommendation.

I tried this and the very first recommendation it gave me is already amazing. Thanks! Gonna add this to my other music discovery tools.

Great. It found I like retro german dance-pop: Klee

I've used https://incompetech.com/ in the past for royalty free music for game jams and other hobby projects. It's the site of one musician that makes all of this stuff and releases it for free.

That guy is awesome, although at this point so many YouTubers and game makers have found him that you can almost guarantee your audience will have heard whichever song you use.

love Kevin Mcleod's stuff, though yeah at this point it's almost a parody of startup explainer video background music

There seems to be a lot of tag abuse in their catalog for exposure, although I'm not sure if artists are assigning their own tags or if it's done by an algorithm. I'm trying to find "classical" music and I'm getting a lot of electronic/jazzy stuff. Try to search for "flute" instruments and I couldn't find one track on the first page of results that had a flute in it.

On a similar vein, my company has had a great experience with Epidemic Sound for their videos and random multimedia. You pay them monthly, and any music you use during your subscription is usable in that finished piece of yours forever.

For any musicians that contribute to this, what is the motive at play here? The joy of creating > need for profit? Getting your name in the title?

Yes. Even among those who hope someday to make music their living, many will opt to forgo immediate profit for experience and exposure alone.

My personal attitude (in general, I haven't contributed to this site) is that it's incredibly difficult and even soul-sucking to try and earn a decent living in music performance, let alone composition, so I don't even try. Instead, I have a day job - I work in IT for my alma mater - and in return for reduced time available for music, I get complete freedom to pursue the musical projects I want at my own pace. This way I can be sort of my own patron. Sure, getting paid for music would be nice, but I'm not going to insist on it for a given project unless that was the only way to make said project worthwhile to me, in which case I probably wouldn't undertake it in the first place. I suspect there are a good many freelance musicians nowadays who also take this approach.

The thing that annoys me about people who complain that they can't make a living being a musician is that it is like complaining they can't start a business selling air.

That's a bit harsh, but that point is that the supply is very high and the demand is low. Certainly the demand for music is high, but only a very tiny sliver of the music that is popular. There isn't a ton of demand for people to pay much for live small town performances.

And as for the supply, there are tons and tons of people who want to be musicians. So the simple supply and demand economics has it that the people who are willing to sell their services for the lowest price (i.e. free) are the ones who will set the market price.

It's a similar phenomenon to when I was in grad school and those around me would complain about the lack of pay for newly minted PhDs in academia. The pay for postdocs is very low. It's the same problem as musicians (though less severe).

One of the thing that motivates grad students or musicians is the hope of making it big (getting a tenured position or selling out performances). That means people with a high risk tolerance are the ones who will participate in the market. Basically, you have to get yourself into the distinguished echelon of hot commodities, and in this respect, "exposure" is very important. There is no top billboard song that exists but for marketing.

Life isn't going to be the way you want it and you have to adjust.

You are making a moral argument whose basis is capitalistic supply and demand. But there is no reason to assume that laws of economics are a decent, humane basis for building a moral framework. Obviously, market economics has pragmatic usefulness, but it's a cruel thing to base your humanity on.

> Life isn't going to be the way you want it and you have to adjust.

Life is what we make it, and mutely accepting the parts of the world we don't like is what enables those misfeatures to persist.

Personally, while I see a lot of value in capitalism, I also see value in striving for a world where more people are able to make a living and do what they love.

If supply and demand means that musicians can't put food on their table, is that flaw in music, or the supply and demand system?

You're not so much arguing that music shouldn't be capitalistic, but more capitalistic than it is today and also value (some?) musicians more.

People aren't paying for music (which has been noted is about as rare as air) but control over music. If you want the money (either through licensing, fee-for-performance, or patronage) you're going to give up your control to the person who is paying the piper. If you want to keep the control, you're probably going to have to give up doing it as a day job.

You can't produce non-alienated craft music like it was a pair of boots and expect people to want it anyway -- the entire value of music to others is in the alienation, the loss of control over the work ("playing to the crowd"), "supply and demand" isn't causing that and can't be reformed to change that.

If the audience is you, that's fine, but why should society value that over any other private activity that makes you privately happy? We should subsidize it as much as we subsidize rock-climbing, marijuana, binge-watching Seinfeld, etc.

A lot of overlap with Soundcloud I'd say, plus I believe there's a lot of (amateur?) musicians who do it as a hobby instead of for money. Money doesn't have to be the end goal. And music doesn't have to be universally good to be published. Publishing your music with no expectations is not a bad thing to do.

Plus, for example, IF it's used in an indie game, and IF said game becomes big, the creators could send a donation or contract in the direction of the creator. I mean take the guy that made the Minecraft music, C418; he started off just posting things on his blog and an indie music forum, but ended up getting in touch with the creator of Minecraft; he kept the rights to the music, I don't know how it works legally but I like to think Microsoft sends him a licensing fee every month to use the music.

sometimes you take so many creative shits a week its exhausting to keep dealing with shit offloading so its nice when dung beetles line up to use your output.

People on HN complain about not finishing sideprojects etc... if you can record a song in ableton/logic and export it to a cloud service where its available for public consumption. thats "finished a side project" and gives a nice feeling of closure.

I would assume the same as the motive for people writing open source software. Neither one is likely to get you paid or even exposure, so I would assume most people do it for the joy of creating.

A friend of mine is an EDM producer who has charted multiple times on beatport over the past decade, and I think that has netted him maybe $1000 total. He makes hundreds of times more money from dj gigs. He's on beatport to get exposure. In fact, a lot of times he doesn't even put his music on beatport and just gives it to other djs to play in exchange for getting unreleased tracks from them.

It's extremely difficult to make money selling music.

Artists often also sell access to higher-quality, longer, looped, or stemmed versions, work with clients to remix compositions, and/or give away compressed versions for free use.

These also serve as demo reels for commissioned work or to sell licenses that don't require attribution/share-alike/other CC restrictions.

Gonna plug this site for music and genre datasets and recommendations. There's a treasure trove of data here if you go hunting.


This is incredible, it lists some little known indie rock bands in the correct category next to some other bands which are not the strictly same genre but I would definitely enjoy.

I love it!

I wonder if this works well across several genres. Because I have specific tastes in Rock, but also in Jazz and in Classic (and inside of it, Consonant Classic and Contemporary Classic), etc. I'm sure that the recommendation graphs are completely unrelated in the tool, or the contrary would be an amazIng surprise (that they would find unificating criteria across my clusters).

PS: thus it would be nice to have several "profiles". Could be also corresponding to different moods in which we don't like the same things.

So the pay for musicians is exposure? Tired of these business models, just another tech organization taking advantage of desperate people.

This is just a repository for Creative Commons content, and it doesn't even appear to force the content to be CC, just royalty free.


The business model here is a group of people have volunteered to maintain a shared opt-in repository and indexer so that musicians who want to release their content under a CC license can easily do so. There's no exploitation happening, unless you broadly consider Open licenses like CC or the GPL to be exploitation.

And if you do have a problem with CC licenses in general, it's probably better to take that up with https://creativecommons.org/

Do you say the same about people who write open source software? This is basically open source music, CC licensed. Just like in the software world, sometimes experimentation and sharing takes priority, not always, but it still has its place.

Some music isn't for sale. This is where you find that music.

People who record music are not desperate. Those trying to be the next popstar might be. Doubt there is huge overlap between those groups. You are more likely to see those on tiktok.

They put it up willingly. Why the hate on copyleft?

indie game developers who make nothing starting out get a possibly decent catalog with low effort, so its not all bad.

Yes, it's fantastic for indie game developers no doubt. After having a catalogue they can get a good paying job and build a career. Musicians, on the other hand, only get offered more exposure gigs.

This is not an exposure gig. Some artists chose to publish their work as CC license (like some devs publish under open source licenses). This site allows them to upload these works, there are plenty of site that offer the same thing such as https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

I've published mine under CC here https://flickr.com/photos/patcito/with/84627477/

So I know a few musicians who release for free. All of them have day jobs as software developers, designers, and one really cool guy who is a C level exec.

If music is your career, sure you have to get good fast and sell at every opportunity.

However don’t discount how good you can get just jamming out with friends for 30 something odd years.

I really hate how hard it is to license well known music.

There’s like three different licenses needed and I have to magically know many downloads I’m going to need to license beforehand and it’s crazy expensive for even a single track.

Forget it...

This is a great thing I'd love to get involved. I wish there was more information about what it takes to upload music. You seem to have to login to get any idea of how it works

Younger me learned remixing with acapellas off ccMixter. It's a great place for finding royalty-free music of all kinds

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