In the digital age of "nichification" it's often easier to find lots of things you already like, while inadvertently walling yourself off from experiencing new things that you don't know about yet. When it comes to music, recommendation systems like Pandora's can help you discover music you may not have heard before, but that music is going to be related to the genre you're already listening to.
Well, music data genius Glenn McDonald has a website to help you encounter music that you have definitely never heard of before. It's called Every Noise at Once, and it just may be the easiest way to quickly familiarise yourself with everything in that wide world of music.
This site is a beautifully laid-out map of more music genres than you knew existed, arranged in clusters based seemingly loosely on their similarities. Here's how McDonald describes the map:
This is an algorithmically-generated non-analytical map of the musical genre-space. Genres and artists are positioned by code and data, adjusted for legibility, but the underlying vectors are less interesting than the juxtapositions and clusters that they produce, so the axes have been deliberately left unlabeled and uncalibrated. You are invited to imagine your own qualities and magnitudes that the geometry might be expressing.
The best part is, click on a genre, and you'll get a 30-seconds or longer preview of a representative song. But wait, there's even more: Click the >> sign next to the genre and you'll navigate to another music map, just for that one genre, with even more previews based on the top artists in that style.
Now, because music isn't a science, surely there are a lot of issues that can be nitpicked with some genre names, spacing and emphasis, and the preview songs chosen for each genre, but first, you've got to realise how awesome this thing is as a whole. If you're having trouble with that, sit back, click the "scan" button at the top of the homepage, and let it automatically flick through "sludge metal," "warm drone," "chiptune", "boogaloo", and "chinese traditional", as if you were listening to the most comprehensive radio station ever. [Every Noise At Once via Boing Boing]