Behold the Glory of the Discoverinator!

 

Some things you may be wondering:

Why? What? There are hundreds of thousands of albums on Bandcamp, but no easy way to browse through them and find your new favorite band. So 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. Try it out at bandcamp.com/discover.

How do I control which track from my album plays in the Discoverinator? In a few weeks we’ll launch a new album editor that allows you to pick a featured track (which not only means it becomes the one that plays here, but is also cued up first whenever your album is embedded). Until then, your featured track is picked automatically based on popularity. (Note that some accounts have the new album editor already — if you’re one of them, just edit your album, and click the star icon next to the track name you want to feature.)

What about mobile? Working on it!

Is there anything I can do to maximize my presence in the Discoverinator? First, make sure you’ve picked your genre, otherwise you won’t appear in it at all. You can do that from your Profile page. And if you want your merch to show up when fans browse by format (and who would not?), then edit your albums, choose “add package” and get to it (including photos of your vinyl/CDs/etc. is key — they look great here and will boost your sales). We also encourage you to add a bio image and make your own recommendations.

Why can’t I browse by? Good question, please tell us more in the comments. Thank you!

35 Comments

  1. Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I think I’m going to get lost in Discoverinator for hours.

    Do you think that blog comments about artists will be integrated into the feature in addition to other artist’s comments on the music?

  2. Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Hey, another awesome feature of Bandcamp. I recommend it to every single artist I meet. However, I do have one qualm – will this only work with actual paid sales? My album, ‘Never Joy’, is free to download, with an option to purchase a CD copy (which have very nearly sold out). It’s currently number 1 in the Best-Selling on the Acoustic tag in the Discoverinator, but it doesn’t show up in any of the other tags, and is only up there because of CD sales. Does this mean it only tracks downloads that are paid? ‘Never Joy’ is near the top of the popularity-based tags for Alternative, Indie, Acoustic, Folk and Signer-Songwriter, but it only appears in the Acoustic tag on the Discoverinator. Is this because its download is free? Will this be changed in the future, or is it a conscious decision to not track free downloads? I don’t see why you wouldn’t! Thanks again for a great feature, but I’m interested to know why this ^ is. Ed.

  3. Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Hi there Ed, thanks for the recommending! The reason your album is in the acoustic section here is because those aren’t tags at the top, they’re genres, and you have yours set to acoustic. While you can give yourself a bunch of different tags, we limit you to picking a single primary genre. This is specifically so that fans *won’t* see the same albums in alternative, indie, acoustic, and folk — we want there to be a good variety across them. That said, we’re considering adding arbitrary tag search here, so stay tuned.

  4. Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Great idea, but there doesn’t appear to be a link to it from the Bandcamp home page…

  5. Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    “Why can’t I browse by…”

    Region? To discover local bands more easily?

  6. Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Thanks Ian. We’ll be linking to it from several different places over the coming weeks.

  7. dave
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I agree with what birdsusestars says. There’s region info in tags usually, maybe browse by tag?

  8. Gregg
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Great feature.

    You guys gotta work in geography … or just let users enter tags as a filter.

    Also, how about integrating the show calendar to feature the artist’s next gig?

  9. Posted June 7, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    How about a browse by “least popular”?

    One of the best things about Bandcamp, to me, isn’t the million-seller breakout artists. That’s what record labels are for. Bandcamp is very good at supporting the long tail, and I think you guys should highlight that. To make it interesting, it could be a random sample from the depths of the tail, but *something* to help highlight more than just the people who are already selling a lot of things, and bring those out in the backwaters of obscurity into a bit more of a spotlight.

    (Especially since we’re waaaaaay down at the end of the long tail someplace. :)

  10. Posted June 7, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    It would be cool if you could put it on ‘shuffle’ or ‘radio’ mode, and have it randomly play tracks off the different albums that fall into the filters you select. And then when something comes on that catches your ear, you’d have all the purchase info.

    *I have one of those jobs where I have music on all day… but am not able to spend too much time manually exploring. At least at work. When at home, I imagine spending a lot of time with it. Nice work (as always).

  11. Posted June 7, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Ah ok, thank you Ethan! Makes a bit more sense now, I guess I was being a bit of an idiot haha. That sounds great, it’s probably a good idea not to clog up the genres with the same albums. Thanks for having such a wonderful site. I will continue to recommend Bandcamp, and hopefully use it, for as long as possible!

  12. Posted June 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Makes sense for an album to show up under only one genre, but it might be nice if the genre classification could be per album rather than overall for an artist. For example, we have an artist with 8 albums; only one of them is “Kids” music and we’d love to see it show up there. Same would go for a “Christmas” or “Holiday” category (which you could temporarily display around that time of year).

  13. Posted June 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Great feature. Makes life much easier.

  14. Posted June 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Hey Ethan, or anyone on the (awesome) Bandcamp team, you should add more options in the genre field on the profile page. I know that too many options can cause things to become a little complicated, but a little more variety would help a lot of us out.

  15. micolcazzell
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I had the same thought psycliq. After looking again though, I just don’t see how they could do it. There’s too many artists on bandcamp for that. The “worst-selling” filter would consist of hundreds of thousands(?) of artists per genre. That’s not really an effective browsing method, I don’t think. I don’t think there’s anything anyone can do about the injustice of unpopularity. It’s built in to existence as a musician, I’m afraid. Besides isn’t that really just what they had before? How else could you sort the bands other than genre-date for that?

    To reiterate what Jeremy said, though: What would be really cool, and what I was really hoping for when I saw the title of this blog post is a Bandcamp radio of some sort. That would be a grand discovery tool.

    None of this is to say anything bad about discoverinator, though. It’s pretty cool.

    Here is a question too: Does it work like Soundscan where if you run a pre-sale all your sales for that pre-sale are represented in discoverinator in one day?

  16. James
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    A step in the right direction, but please consider giving us listeners further options to narrow the search. Currently if I click on ‘Rock’ and ‘Digital’ that leaves me with 800 results – a dispiritingly large number. I click on the first few, find they’re not really something I’d want to listen to, and then leave. Please give us sub-genres – ‘shoegaze’ or ‘lo-fi’ or ‘goth’ or whatever – and also let us combine it with a country, or even city. Or, if you don’t want to have a lot of sub menus, let us combine search terms of our own inside the existing categories.

  17. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    “You guys gotta work in geography … or just let users enter tags as a filter.”

    PLEASE. It’s very frustrating that there isn’t any “add tag to search” function in this. Only being able to search for one user-defined tag at a time has been my biggest problem with bandcamp for years.

    Right now if I want to search “Boston” and “Experimental”, there is no way for me to do it. This would make such a big difference in being able to find new local releases – as a radio DJ, it would be greatly helpful for me AND the bands.

  18. mysterypills
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Ditto on the regional search, preferably with the option to filter by genre or multiple genres. Also I second psycliq’s comments about being able to probe the depths of the long tail.

    Lesser-known artists looking to tour really need some way to connect with other artists around the country/world who are at a similar stage in their career, so some artist version of the discoverinator that could help match artists based on similar genres and relative popularity would be a huge asset.

  19. Used-Fuzzbox
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    This is excellent, but, to make it perfect, I think you need to add a Hipster section…

  20. Will
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to be able to browse by the post-rock genre.

  21. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to echo what psycliq said. This lets you search by new arrivals, best-selling, and artist-recommended, but it’s people like me, who are none of those things, that would most benefit from being discovered.

  22. Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    This is a pretty killer new feature, guys! I’m really digging it. I think the people who suggest filtering my location make a great point, too.

    And since you’re pushing it as a virtual record store, an alphabetical search would make a lot of sense. I tend to start at A and go through the stacks when I’m in an actual store and could see myself doing the same here. Still, great job on this!

  23. Shergs
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Plus one on the ability to filter with region, or just any tags.

  24. yanety
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Make volume control after all!

  25. yanety
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Btw. This feature is just awesome. ;)

  26. Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Was just thinking the other day that a radio function would be great. This is cool, but I agree, as others have pointed out, that something more passive would be awesome as well. A last.fm/pandora style radio (driven by tags/artists/genres/location…) would be great to just throw on and then when something catches my ear, I can click over and buy! Nice work as always.

  27. david andreone
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    love the discoverinator…a lot.

  28. Posted June 14, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Does where an artist is located matter?

    This is the internet.

    To me it matters not where an artist is located. All I am interested is what sounds they make.

    Too many bells and whistles and it becomes cumbersome to use.

    But I agree, genre should be album not artist.

  29. Yossi
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    Truly awesome as most of the other commentators wrote.
    It’d be also graet if Staff Picks could also be filtered through the various genres …and… why not add year/month of release for each item?

  30. Posted June 17, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Really diggin’ the discoverinator!

    I’d also like to advocate for a function that lets me search multiple tags in one search. That would be super useful.

  31. bulsum
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Please, oh please make it possible to search multiple tags at once? I don’t to shuffle 100 breakbeat artists to find a band that makes cinematic breakbeat.

  32. Posted April 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m gonna add in favor of searching by multiple tags!

    I hate rap but I love chiptunes, it’s a pain to have to sort through 1000 artists just to find ones that arn’t rap or hip hop.

  33. julian
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    browse by multiple tags? that would be mega useful! today i only want to listen to black/doom/instrumental

  34. ashtonfrancis
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I am adding my voice to the chorus of those wishing for the ability to search for more than one tag at a time. This should be ridiculously easy to implement, shouldn’t it? I don’t care about local metal/country/rap… But if I type in the name of my city and ‘electronic’, I’m sure I’d spend more time on Bandcamp…

  35. Edd
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Please make it possible to search more than one tag at time! The ability to combine tags to filter through music would be so awesome!

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