I suggest others give it a try. It's not like the two are mutually exclusive. You could give Robert Fripp's discography a try for ambient/electronic, for instance:
Same thing happens to me with music of sufficient complexity such as a baroque counterpoint style.
It's not approachable yet, but based on the response here that may change.
It is primarily label based. By using discogs, essentially imdb for music, it uses some Foaf and affinity "distances".
Here's an example flow, let's say you find an artist you like, say Cygnus (https://www.discogs.com/artist/1932807-Cygnus-5). We pull down the releases and get the labels. Then go to the labels which have links to things like Bandcamp, SoundCloud, or various other sites. The tool then catalogs the releases and adds them essentially to an unlabeled dataset. (I've been updating dead links on discogs for a while to make this thing with better btw ;p )
Then there's another tool that goes through to "label" things by you listening to them. Essentially it's designed to do a single pass. There's a REPL and it interfaces with mpv using their JSON and Lua interface.
Then you rate each release and the adjacent information, such as the people working on it (on its discogs catalog page) becomes another vector for possible traversal.
It's not a constant scraper, it'd go on forever. Essentially it's manually run and there's a tweakable threshold.
For instance. Say you highly rate multiple releases that share a producer, artist, and label. Well, by golly, if there's a few other releases in that grouping you'll probably like that too. I mean, duh, obvious, right?
A lot of this approach came from the world of italo disco where the real names often got obscured behind short lived projects and labels which required a bit of digging to find the related content. Take Aldo Martinelli for instance. Here's his fb banner which is the best catalog of his work I know (https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.18172-8/fr/cp0/e1...). Same person doing all of that. For instance, "topo & roby" and "moon ray comanchero" are essentially the same people, but getting from one to the other or uncovering the relationships, that's the challenge this infrastructure tries to solve.
This stuff gets unusually complicated with specific regards to italo disco. See the profile of radiorama for instance (https://www.discogs.com/artist/73973-Radiorama) or groups like The Flirts, Fun Fun or Den Harrow, where models were the faces, singers were the vocals, different song writers and musicians would come and go, they were all huge tangles.
This method completely ignores popularity or what others are listening to and falls back on the networks of the people making the content. For me at least, it's produced great results.
But it's built exclusively for me at this time. I don't even have most of the traversal code posted
The code is over here https://github.com/kristopolous/music-explorer
I'd be happy to make it more accessible but I'm multiple standard deviations from the mean when it comes to how I approach music so I've got no idea whether there's a large interest here
If you want to see what results look like, now this is exclusively catered to my tastes, I have a pretty basic hack to listen to things on the go over here http://9ol.es/pl/
I guess the focus here is to see the label/artist diversity even if the style of music isn't your thing.
As far as listening while you work, the tool is instrumentable. For me I can press a quasimode key (say the windows key) along with some other key and do things like pause/play, label the release, track/release navigation, get info, open the webpage that it was on, etc. These are hooked at the window manager level.
This way there's as little task switching as possible and I can stay in whatever application I'm doing.
(I learned about this from hacker news :)
Rainwave (general VGM): https://rainwave.cc/all/
Jet Set Radio (more high-energy, but they have a lo-fi station or two now): https://jetsetradio.live/
Nightwave Plaza (not exactly VGM, but vaporwave makes good ambient music IMO): https://plaza.one/
They have multiple music stations, multiple “TV” channels, a graffiti board, and a chat box that all try to recreate that Jet Set vibe. Just be cautious opening that graffiti board at work...
They've been fantastic for helping me both stay relaxed and focus in on whatever I happen to be doing
He makes some really great coding albums, notably the Mirror Edge Catalyst soundtrack cannot be missed.
It is over FIVE hours long.
Also it is on Spotify so you can easily offline it.
The one I've been using for years and years is A Soft Murmur . You can put together a mix of a few sounds to suit your preference. I like to prioritize the coffee shop and rain (about 50% each) with some thunder (25%) and a light fire (25%). There's also a "meander" option where any non-silenced sound's volume will move up and down at random so it's not the exact same sounds for the whole time.
I dunno how you can be productive in perfect silence. If I have perfect silence I find myself getting anxious and distracted. I work best when I can hear other people around me being productive in some way.
Sometimes I need a little bit of noise to help with focus, and sometimes I just put on jazz anyways.
I have been toying with an idea for a few years of doing something just like that. But with arcade sounds. But ideas are just ideas :)...
edit this exact page I think i've found 3x now; and then lost it in this way.
It's very customizable at a level that most tools aren't, making it easy to (for example) pare back low bass or high treble if one or the other grates on your ears whilst working -- or amp up or down background conversation depending on your taste.
How is this one going to be different? I'd love to find something I can stick with.
Thank you for making this
I currently do this with youtube-dl, I can download a playlist on youtube with it (best audio format) and then use Music to sync to my iPhone which involves 2 more steps than I'd like it to.
I know this makes me sound kind of old, but this reminds me how much I miss GrooveShark. Their Ambient stream/channel (whatever they called it) was awesome. Spotify has vaguely similar function, but it is nowhere near the sophistication and convenience GrooveShark offered.
I personally like music in background maybe for monotonic or dull kind of work
On the other hand, during the spring I would check in on a bird-nest webcam from time to time, and if I left the page open, I felt there was a net but subliminal benefit from the background birdsong.