A lot of services help you discover new music through songs you or your friends like, but Fathom takes a unique visual approach that lets you explore dozens of bands and sample their music (or listen to full tracks) just by typing in the name of an artist you like.
Unlike streaming services like Pandora or Spotify, Fathom is designed to help you find and explore new music, as opposed to just stream tracks while you work. Type in the name of an artist you enjoy, and Fathom will start playing songs from one of their albums right up front in the centre of the page. (If you're an Rdio subscriber you'll hear full songs, otherwise you'll hear previews.) You can listen to anything on the album that's playing, or view the artist or album at Amazon MP3, iTunes, Grooveshark, Last.fm and more.
On the left and right of the album in the centre, you'll see related artists and albums, any one of which you can click on to browse the tracks on the album, add them to your queue, or remove from the list and replace with another suggestion. The project is a labour of love and you can read more about what developer Ian Gilman was aiming to do with it at his blog. It's not an automatic, hands-off music experience, but if you like getting hands-on with music discovery and playing with the songs you find, Fathom is worth trying.