PHOENIX--You love your iPod. But how do you find new artists that match your tastes? Many companies have tried to solve the "music discovery" problem. The latest is Demo 2006 presenter GarageBand (not to be confused with the Apple product). The product, Gpal, is an iTunes companion that helps you find new music based on your tastes. It looks very easy. You select an artist you like, and it can automatically create a playlist from your music of similar artists. This is a good way to discover music you already have.
One neat trick is that Gpal can insert artists into your playlist even if you don't own any of their music. If and when you add tracks from these artists, they automatically populate the appropriate playlists. The product can also recommend music from "new, unsigned artists" that sound like musicians you listen to. This is how you'll get actual new music, and hopefully give aspiring artists a leg up.
There's a collaborative filter element to Gpal. It watches what you and others listen to and builds lists from that. It's unclear at this point if the product does any acoustic analysis.