Longtime readers of Opus will know that I love Bandcamp’s online music service. Along with Soundcloud, I find nearly all of my music these days via Bandcamp — a process that has always been a bit on the difficult side. Bandcamp currently hosts over 500,000 releases, but the only way to really browse through them was via tags… until now, that is. Earlier this week, Bandcamp rolled out the Discoverinator, a search engine that lets you browse albums by a host of criteria, including genre, popularity, format, and artist recommendations.
…we set out to build something that would take what we love most about traditional record stores — the serendipitous discovery that happens when we go to our favorite section and just flip through covers — and combine it with elements that are uniquely Bandcamp: the ability to listen to full streams, browse through every artist’s merch, see what the bands themselves recommend, and explore a deep and constantly expanding catalog of great independent music. That’s the Discoverinator. Want to hear the best-selling metal on vinyl this week? Recent indie cassette arrivals? The electronica most loved by the bands themselves? The Discoverinator delivers all of it and more. We’ve found it produces new and interesting results far more reliably than the barrage of what-our-friends-are-listening-to-right-now, and is just a hell of a lot more fun.
You can read more about the Discoverinator here.
I’ve been using it for only a short while, and I’ve already made some new discoveries. For example, I had no idea that the whole of Phil Elvrum’s catalog is on Bandcamp, including his most recent Mount Eerie release.
My only issue with the Discoverinator so far is that the list of selectable genres seems rather small given the breadth of music on the site. But trying to cram more genres in there would no doubt compromise what is obviously intended to be a quick, easy way to browse the site’s growing catalog.