Last night, I learned about Pandora, a creation of the Music Genome Project.
A description of the project from the MGP site: "[W]e set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like."
On the website, you create a personal station by entering the name of an artist or a song that you like. Then, Pandora plays songs with a similar musical "gene," letting you give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down to songs as you desire. A great idea--and free, if you don't mind ads.
As a result, I'm listening to James Cleveland, Albertina Walker, Clara Ward and the like online right now. Pretty cool.
What's your favorite online source for gospel (and/or related) music? Leave the URL in a comment, and if there are enough responses, maybe I'll create a roundup.