With zillions of tunes out there, how do you choose the best 3,000 or so to pack onto your iPod? Here are five sites that will give you oodles of intriguing picks.  — C.T.

Last.FM, www.last.fm
One of several sites that create personal radio stations based on your musical preferences, ­Last­.FM works by “scrobbling,” meaning that when you play a song, the tune is added to your music profile. Recent faves on the Last.FM charts include Snow Patrol, the Killers, and Muse. Access is free, but with a $3-per-month subscription, you’ll get some extra features.

Musicovery, www.musicovery.com
Move over, Pandora — a new champ is crowned! Other music sites such as Liveplasma have used the “cloud view” format to link related artists, but Musicovery goes miles beyond that, letting users zero in on songs by basing searches on a decade, genre, mood, desired dance beat, and more. Best feature: You can hear entire songs, not just snippets.

MyStrands, www.mystrands.com
Select from tags like ambient, driving, and funk to see tunes recommended by users, and then click for 30-second samples and links to buy the songs. Those seeking more than just sounds will love the community-building features here. You can create journal entries, post photos, e-mail song clips to friends, throw online music parties, and otherwise share the beats. There is no fee required, but you’ll need to sign up. 

Stage.FM (formerly Audiri.com), www.stage.fm
It’s all indie all the time at Stage.FM, so this is fertile ground for those seeking the next Neutral Milk Hotel. Enter the name of an established act (Green Day, Shakira, etc.), and you’ll get back lesser-known musicians who have a similar sound. Recently, the top-charted bands here were Thalon and Grieving for Grace. Another nice find is Australia’s Touch of Eternity.

UpTo11, www.upto11.net
This isn’t the best music-recording site out there, but it’s relatively simple to use and does have one cool touch: the popularity slider. After you’ve entered the name of a band, you’ll be given the names of other bands liked by UpTo11 users. Move the slider toward “fewer fans” to see artists who swim outside the mainstream.