If you hadn't noticed, a lot of the posts and links you see from me these days are from "Web 2.0" companies. What is Web 2.0? Well, that's up for debate, but basically it's the act of making the web an application layer: programs, functionality, and more, but living on the web.
One of the most useful, and immediately beneficial? Pandora Internet Radio. I know, you groan and say "not another damned music online thing," but hear me out. First, it's FREE. Second, it's SIMPLE.
Here's how it works: you type in the name of a band or song you like. Within moments, that song, or song from the band starts playing. Nice quality, good sound, no skips. As the song ends, it plays another song that it has determined is similar to the one you last listened to by algorithm: music type, vocal type, etc.). Like it? Click the "thumbs up" button. Don't? Click "thumbs down," and the song stops, and it tries another one, immediately.
In this way, Pandora learns what you like. Better yet, you can set up multiple "stations" with different types of music, so you can be in different moods, and play whatever you want. Keep a browser window open, and your customized learning radio continues to play all day and night.
Use it for partied, background music, or while you work. It's free, great quality, and a really innovative way to discover new music.
For instance, I recently discovered a band I never heard of, Audioslave. I really like their music, so I created an Audioslave inspired station. If you like hard rock, slightly alternative, with dark undertones, listen for yourself!