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nowadays this constitutes most of the music I listen to, there is lots of great stuff out there, it tends to be refreshingly original and its never overproduced (for obvious reasons).
the number of places you can download music from seems to grow exponentionaly, which is where Irate Radio comes in.
this wonderful little tool helps me find new music, most of 2004 was spent listening to music through Irate.
Irate is a Java app, but before you run away screaming (this is what I do when Java is ever mentioned) it can be compiled using GCJ which means you don't need to use non Free Software and you don't have to sacrifice all your systems resources to the JVM.
Basically what it does is push random legally downloadable music at you, you rate the stuff, a central server aggregtes all user ratings and based on the ratings of others tries to find music that will match your taste, after rating roughly 100 songs it works great for me.
now all of this time I've been listening to this music I did not pay a dime for it, so I think its time to put my money where my ears are and buy some of that wonderful music.
so today I started parsing the Irate XML file to get a list of Magna Tune artists I like, I'll download all their work and decide on 4 albums to buy, at 5$ an album the price is cheap, I get lossless audio files, the artists get half the money which seems to be the best deal they could get anywhere and the license is just about perfect.
one day I will write a drupal module that displays my Irate ratings for the world to see.
if you're interested in this kind of thing, there is a blow by blow account of how I extracted the info I needed from the Irate XML file.