All Music Guide

Sit around the workplace long enough and the conversation du jour will turn to music. The Planet is no exception to this, but takes it a step further; to say music lovers roam these halls would be an understatement. Hell, there's even a couple of music snobs, maybe even a fascist or two lingering in the corner. Thankfully for us, and for them, there's the All Music Guide at It's damn near a bottomless reservoir of facts dealing with all types of music, subcategorized and cross-referenced, with bands listed under at least four different subgenres. Even if you have only a vague idea of what you're looking for, All Music Guide will send you in the right direction with an immensely impressive database that can be searched by artist, song, label, album or style. Type in "Elvis" and get 13 choices, each choice listed with music genre and what years the act was kicking out the tunes. Options vary for each title and artist, but, for the most part, you can choose one and get a very thorough biography, pictures and discography (besides recommending albums and songs, also lists soundtracks and compilations on which the artist has appeared). Plus, you can find out about related artists, digital downloads and much, much more. Hell, you can even buy the music here (yeah, this site shills for, but you don't have to buy anything to learn more about bands). Granted, it's not going to give you who played harmonica on track four of some obscure bluegrass band's CD; if you want that kind of completist information, hit up the newsgroups at or some such thing.

—Patrick J. Graney