Music Recommendation Site: itcher Community Manager’s Top 5 Chill Out Songs

With more music ready to be listened to and a long list of new artists to check out, find a good music recommendation site makes walking your dog or just chilling out at home much more entertaining.

Here at itcher, we're all about providing you with accurate music recommendations: our app sits in your pocket and is ready to recommend new music whenever.


Want to Know How to Get Better Music Recommendations?

It's ridiculously simple...

1. Download the itcher app

2. Set up a profile - it just takes a few clicks!

3. Rate 5 titles from the music category from 1 to 5 lightbulbs

4. Select the Recommendations tab and check out all the new music you should listen to next!


Our Top itcher Tip

Always rate the first batch of recommendations so itcher can get to know you even better.

Did we mention that the ratings help itcher to learn more about your taste in music?

Did we mention that the ratings help itcher to learn more about your taste in music?

Yeah, it's pretty clever.

Download the app and have a play around - we can't wait to hear what you think!


Prepare to Kick Back

And onto today's recommendation from itcher's Community Manager (that's me, hello!).

We know what it's like when you've had a long day at work/school/university and you just want an hour in the evening to relax, maybe browse through Reddit or Pinterest and just have some relaxation time.

And what better way to enjoy your end of the day chill out routine than with some equally relaxing music?

And what better way to enjoy your end of the day chill out routine than with some equally relaxing music?

Here are the 5 best songs to listen to after a long day.

1. Say You Love Me - Jessie Ware

A slow, sure beat and the unmistakably honest voice of Jessie Ware. What's not to love?

2. What's Up? - 4 Non Blondes

The ultimate 'singing at the top of your voice in the kitchen' song, 'What's Up' starts slow and builds to a mellow but feel good track.

3. Wings - Birdy

With her near angelic voice (is it even humanly possible how eretheral her voice is?) Birdy indulges us with the most passionate of relaxing songs.

4. Last Request - Paolo Nutini

A little more upbeat but definitely still a chill out track, Last Request is the song you can listen to over and over.

5. Put Your Records On - Corrine Bailey Rae

If there was ever a better song for lounging around the house in your fluffy socks, we'll gladly hear it. Put Your Records On is your evening unwind track, no matter how stressful your day.


Feet up, Tea Made

Enjoy your evening of chill out music. Forget about tomorrow, indulge in a little chocolate and we'll see you over on the itcher app.


Recommendations Engine itcher On: Finding The Best Coming of Age Novels

At itcher, since we're a recommendations engine, we're all about finding your next great read. And with teenage angst, relationships and learning what it means to be a person, coming of age fiction is some of the most emotionally loaded literature out there.

Who wouldn't want to read such beautifully prosaic novels?

Today we're focussing on how you can find more coming of age novels and looking at some that can kick start your reading marathon.


How You Can Find Coming of Age Books

The itcher app will change the way you discover new books. If you've already read some coming of age novels and you're looking for new ones, you can!

Download the itcher app, set up a profile (easy peasy) and search for the books you've already read so you can rate them.

Once you've rated 5, you'll unlock your first set of book recommendations!

Get ready to do a whole lot of reading...


Where Should You Start with Coming of Age Fiction?

Here are a handful of books to get you started, handpicked by itcher's Community Manager, Kerry (that's me, hi!)


It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

The tale of a teen suffering with mental health problems, It's Kind of a Funny Story will warm your heart, and break it, in equal measure.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky

The pinnacle of what makes a good coming of age novel, quiet teens everywhere will relate to being the 'wallflower' at school - and will love seeing why it's not always a bad thing.


Looking For Alaska​ by John Green

Dealing with love, loss and death in your teenage years is hard to navigate, but Looking For Alaska - while poignant and gritty - is beautifully helpful and well paced.


The Kite Runner​ by Khaled Hosseini

Following the regrets of childhood, The Kit Runner is a true coming of age novel in that it follows the growth of Amir over his lifetime. An astonishingly beautiful novel, you'll never forget The Kite Runner.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire​ by JK Rowling

Discovering the opposite sex for the first time (and all the awkwardness that comes with it) and learning what it means to be brave is what Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire focusses on. Humorous and gripping in equal parts, one of the longer books of these recommendations but you'll adore every page.


Never Let Me Go​ by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go is a deep, honest look at what it means to be a person. In a world where people are raised for the sole purpose of aiding others to live longer, Kathy and her friends must find life in their numbered days.


What's Your Favourite Coming of Age Novel?

What's the most poignant thing a coming of age novel has taught you? Which authors excel in coming of age fiction? 

Let us know in the comments, and don't forget to download the itcher app!


Where Can I Find Foreign Films Without Having to Think?

Are you learning a new language and you fancy having a go at watching a film in its original language?

Yeh. All good. But...


Where Can I Find Foreign Films?!

Long gone are the days of the video stores where we could stroll around the aisles staring at the DVD covers looking for our next acquisition for the night... In fact, maybe many of you don't even remember doing this (so 80s and 90s!)


The Beauty of the Foreign Film

Are you learning a complicated and exotic language like Chinese or a popular language like Spanish?

Whichever language you are trying to coming to grips with, movies and TV series can help you become more familiar with foreign words and expressions.

Whichever language you are trying to coming to grips with, movies and TV series can help you become more familiar with foreign words and expressions.

Watching a foreign movie can help you understand how to converse in a foreign language, listen to the correct pronunciation and learn more about the local culture. With millions of films out there, how can you choose what to watch?

Movies and TV series can help you become more familiar with foreign words and expressions.


Here's Where itcher can Help You!

Where to find foreign films? The only way to "emulate" those DVD rental store aisles is by using the itcher app.

You can set a profile and select a movie based based on your preferences and on other users' recommendations.

With itcher you can connect with other people with similar interests and find some hidden gems from the world of entertainment.


A World of Films You Never Knew Existed!

Do you fancy some French sophistication from your night in? You could try watching French films like Amelie, Priceless, Amour or La Vérité si je Mens! (Would I lie to you).

After seeing La Vie en Rose, the film that won French actress Marion Cotillard an Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe, you might become an instant fan of Cotillard's, so why not also watch Rust and Bone which received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012? The story of a beautiful amputee played by Cotillard resonated with the spirit of the London 2012 Paralympics.


Back Catalogues and More

Have you ever wanted to see Pedro Almodovar's back catalogue? You could try something new watching all his films in reverse order starting from 2013's I Am so Excited (Los Amantes Pasajeros) and going all the way back to 1988's Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown and even Pepi, Lucy, Bom y Otras Chicas del Montón. I bet you didn't know that one!

Northern Europe has produced a large number of cult-films like Denmark's A Royal Affair or Norway's Kon-Tiki. Denmark is also famous for gripping TV series like The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge.

Borgen, in particular, is a political drama and can be considered as Denmark's Homeland. A Hijacking is Denmark's answer to Tom Hanks' Captain Phillips, so much so that some critics have defined Hijack as “the Somali pirate movie without Tom Hanks”. Hijack is directed by Tobias Lindholm who made The Hunt and Borgen. These are edge-of-your-seat type of movies that keep the right level of tension throughout.

...some critics have defined Hijack as “the Somali pirate movie without Tom Hanks


Be Part of Film Debates!

What would other itcher users think about the Hijack vs Captain Phillips debate? Will they love the Hollywood blockbuster more than the more obscure Danish production?

With opinions flooding in from around the world, itcher will give you a 360 degrees view of a movie by collating multiple ratings.


How to Find Entertainment on the Internet? We Have the Solution for You

The Internet is great at helping us find stuff that what we are looking for. But what if you don’t know what you are looking for?

Nobody has properly solved the issue of how to find entertainment on the internet.

Until now.


What Options Do We Have?

So what are the options we have at hand to find entertainment recommendations?


Search Engines

The first option that comes to mind is the search engine (and these days, the word search engine is synonym to Google).

We use Google for most things in our lives, but the one thing that we don’t use if for is “what film should I watch tonight?” or “What would be a good book to take with me on holiday”, etc.

Why? Because it does not work.


In-store Recommendation Engines

The second option is to go to use an in-store recommendation engine.

One of the most known ones is the Amazon one. Say you buy Ewan McGregor’s “A Long Way Down”. After checkout Amazon will show you a section called “Customers who bought this also bought” which, in this example, will contain some other motorcycle adventure documentaries, and in particular other ones with Ewan McGregor.

Is it likely that I will like them? Possibly.

Is that the next film I want to watch? Probably not.

The reason why this method is fairly poor is because it clusters the content and assumes there is a relationship between the items, based on other people’s purchases.


The Problem with this Approach

Whilst under certain circumstances this might yield good results, there are two issues with this approach:

1- Using purchases as a driver for recommendations instead of ratings is not ideal. In my example of the Ewan McGregor film, let’s assume that most customers buy both “the Long Way Down” and “the Long Way Round” at the same time, but only like the first one.

In this case Amazon would establish a strong connection between the two and recommend it, but is unaware that most people actually were disappointed with the sequel.

The answer here is: switch from actions to actual ratings by users.

2- The second issue is related to datapoints, or put differently, the more information the engine has about things you like and dislike, the better it will be a giving you recommendations on other things.

That’s why Amazon isn’t great. Not only does it not know whether you liked the item you purchased; it also has a limited set of entertainment products that you have bought through Amazon that it can use as a base.

3- The 3rd option is slightly more tailored, although it still has the same disadvantages to the recommendation engine. And here I’m talking about services such as iTunes or LastFM for music, and LoveFilm or NetFlix for films and series.

The recommendations are more accurate, because it is a specific entertainment vertical, but it still suffers because of the methodology of clustering. And because of the fact that these services are for a specific entertainment verticals, they miss out on cross category recommendations (for example: because you liked this book, you’ll probably like this film...)


There is a Solution

The solution is to use a service that matches individual tastes of people (both stuff they like and dislike). Once the connections have been established (i.e. who is similar to whom), it is easy to find entertainment: just check the recommendations from people similar to you.

This is the reason why we decided to launch itcher: to connect people with similar tastes and generate recommendations based on people with similar tastes and interests.


Book Recommendation System & itcher Community Manager’s Top Picks

When on the lookout for a book recommendation system to satisfy your literary appetite, you need 3 things for an utterly booktastic experience:

- great recommendations

- ease of use

- a book-loving community

For book lovers, these 3 things are all they're waiting for.

That's why, when we designed itcher, we made sure our app was user friendly, gave brilliantly accurate recommendations and was a place for book worms to congregate.


Here's How to Use itcher

1. Download the app

2. Hit Browse and scroll through titles (or search) and rate 5 books you've already read

3. See your recommendations tab light up as you unlock your first set of recommended books

4. Scroll through and rate any you've already read and scrap one's you don't want to read.

5. Enjoy your new book recommendations!

As itcher gets to know you better, your recommendations will become more and more accurate, that's why it's important to scroll though the first batch of recommendations to help guide itcher in the right direction.

So, are you ready to read more books? We hope so! Download the itcher app now.


itcher Community Manager's Top Picks

We're all entertainment buffs at itcher but Kerry (that's me, hi) is really into books.

Here are 6 top picks from itcher's very own bookworm.


We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

A quirky book with an early on twist, this novel delves into the world of psychology and animal behaviour.

Well written, with a satisfying plot, you'll feel as though you're living with the Cooke family as an adopted sibling.


An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

One of John Green's earlier novels, An Abundance of Katherine's really hits the geeky spot.

Enough maths to please the nerdy part of you but not so much it's isolating, go on a road trip with Colin Singleton to help him forget all the Katherine's that have dumped him (nineteen, to be exact).


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Enigmatic and salty, We Were Liars follows a privileged family and their life on a private island during the summer holidays.

Masterfully written and gripping until the end, Lockhart writes Young Adult fiction with the sophistication and style you'd expect from a classic.


The Folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blighton

Climb up a magical tree with Connie, Jo, Bessie and Fanny to see what mystery world lies at the top of the Faraway tree.

A childhood favourite, Enid Blighton's magical lands cart you away from real life from the open you open the book.


Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Without a doubt a modern classic, Life of Pi puts a boy on a boat with a tiger and waits to see what will happen.

Oddly enough, it's anything but boring.

A brilliant concept that could have been let down in so many ways - but in this case definitely wasn't.


What Are Your Favourite Books?

We'd love to hear some of the titles you love, so let us know!

And have fun discovering new titles with the itcher app - we can't wait to hear what you think of it!


Music Recommender itcher On: 3 Tips to Master the Art of Party Playlists

Using a music recommender like itcher isn't just great for your own personal music listening sessions (although it's brilliant at that).

itcher is also on hand to help with all sorts of playlists - work out music, studying music and (of course) party playlists!

To the organised mind (any Monica Gellers out there?), the planning stage of the party is almost as fun as the party itself.

The drinks have been purchased, the kitchen is full of food you can't eat until The Big Event and you're in the process of cleaning up everywhere.

But leave the cleaning for a moment and focus on the music.

The key to successful party falls down to three very simple things:


The 3 Imperative Things That Make a Successful Party

1) Interaction between guests

2) Enough food and drink for everyone

3) Good music

Now, we can't help with the first two - that's all down to you I'm afraid - but we certainly can help on the music front.

Here is your comprehensive guide to putting together an awesome playlist for your next party.


1) Music for everyone

Do you have people with different tastes, or perhaps born decades apart, attending your party?

The key to good party planning is ensuring everyone is going to have a good time. This means including some music for each set of guests.

Have some older guests stopping by? Include a few tracks from their era to throw them back to their youth. Maybe it's just you and your friends: if some are into grunge and some, indie, include music from both genres.


2) Blend the tracks for seamless listening

If you are going to include music from a variety of different eras and genres, it's important to make the transition seamless.

Be sure to include some all round musical pleasers in between tracks from different genres/eras.


3) Create 2 playlists

As a rule, every party should have two playlists. One more relaxed 'welcome to my humble abode, have you met my coworker Jeremy'? playlist, and one with more upbeat, late night songs.

It's all very well and good saying 'Ah but I can just create one long playlist that has slower music AND more upbeat late night stuff'.

But you never know when the shift in tone is going to happen, so keep things appropriate by having 2 playlists that you can switch between when needed.

Quite often a party will become more chilled when it reaches early hours, and you don't want crazy rave music on at 4am if everyone is sprawled out on the sofas and eating leftover pizza.


Party Perfect

We hope our party playlisting tips help you to have the perfect party.

If we may only impart one more piece of advice it is this: download the itcher app, fellow music buffs. You won't regret it.


Recommended Songs for a 90s Throwback

If you're a music lover (and love hearing recommended songs) you're in for a treat with today's post because 90s music is feel good and brilliantly nostalgic.

And, if you are a music fanatic, stay tuned for an introduction to itcher at the end of this post - the only music recommendation you'll ever need.

But first, to the 90s!​


Spice Girls

No 90s throwback music session is complete without the Spice Girls. The pop power group earned adorning fans everywhere, and were arguably the first kick ass, all-girl group on the music scene.

Recommended songs: 'Wannabe', 'Say You'll Be There', 'Spice Up Your Life' and '2 Become 1'​


S Club 7

Feeling nostalgic yet? You should be! S Club 7 were the party soundtrack for teens all over the UK and no birthday party was complete without a performance of the complete dance routine to 'Reach'.

Recommended songs: 'Bring it All Back', 'Reach', 'Have You Ever', 'Never Had a Dream Come True', 'Don't Stop Moving'.​


Steps

Staying on the theme of cheesy dance routines, we couldn't leave out Steps - we all remember their iconic 'Tragedy'.

You only needed 5 friends to master the Steps tribute act, so we know you all had a go at the dance at some point, whether it was in the school playground or after a few bottles of wine with your friends.

Recommended songs: ​'Tragedy', '5,6,7,8', 'Chain Reaction', One for Sorrow', 'Deeper Shade of Blue', 'Stomp'


How You Can Get More Music Recommendations

If you're after more music recommendations - maybe even more 90s hits! - the itcher app will be more than happy to help you along your way.

Simply download from the app store and prepare for itcher to change the way you find new music...


How Does it Work?

itcher is a smart cookie, so prepare to be impressed at how quickly it gets to know you and your taste in music.

Oh, did we mention?

itcher offers personalised music recommendations depending on your own individual taste.

itcher offers personalised music recommendations depending on your own individual taste.

Not bad, hey? Here's how to kick the itcher engine into action:

1. Hit Browse in the music category and begin scrolling

2. Rate 5 artists that you've listened to before so itcher begins to learn what you like

3. Watch your Recommendations tab light up as you unlock your first batch of recommendations.

4. Scroll through your first set of recommendations and rate any artists you've listened to before so itcher can get to know you even better.

5. Add the artists you're interested in to your itchlist for easy access.

Looking for more 90s music specifically? No problem. Simply hit Browse and refine music by decade!


Better Recommendations Are Just a Few Clicks Away

We hope you enjoyed today's throwback-tastic 90s tracks. Don't wait around, find the itcher app and download now. There's a lot of music out there, and it's waiting for you!


An iPhone App for Book Recommendations is Waiting for You

Getting recommendations for good book titles is quite tricky: sometimes your friends rave about a look they love but they don't ask you about what you like.

How can you recommend a book without asking you first what genre you prefer?

You can try an app for book recommendations or ask your friends.


Get on the List!

Sometimes it's a good idea to write a list of books you love and that will give you an indication of where to start your search for the next book you'll read.

You can do that using a book recommendations app (iPhone or Android) – start the process by listing all the books you've enjoyed reading and then the app will match your choices with recommendations from users around the world.


Sharing is Caring

You never know what happens when you search for a book title – your preferences and reviews could also be helping others find that unmissable gem that normal retailers wouldn't be promoting.

You could find the new best-selling author by starting a word-of-mouth campaign.

You could be responsible for finding the new best-selling author by starting a word-of-mouth campaign.


Maggie & Me

To give you an example: I read Maggie & Me by Damian Barr, a charming Scottish author who was quite well-known in London because he hosts a series of upmarket events (Shoreditch Literary Salon).

The publication of his autobiography chronicling his eventful life as a teenager during the Thatcher years became a worldwide sensation. With Margaret Thatcher passing away in April 2013 and Maggie & Me having just been published, Damian Barr has now become one of the most popular authors in the UK.

I loved Maggie & Me for a number of reasons: it combines the struggles of someone that is not understood by society and a great sense of humour.

I loved Maggie & Me. It combines the struggles of someone that is not understood by society and a great sense of humour.

Damian is so brave to share his dramatic story and how he turned his life around. Violent and upsetting scenes of bullying and domestic violence in childhood and teenage years did not make him bitter later in life as an adult.

The book is also narrating events taking place in the 80s, one of my favourite eras. The book references to 80s' pop music and if it is ever going to be turned into a film it would have a fantastic soundtrack.

If you have an interest in either political history, gay culture or pop music, this book could be for you.


Get started

Are you ready to find the next best-seller before anyone else does?

Are you ready to find the next best-seller before anyone else does?

Or do you simply need someone to give you ideas on good book titles, look no further than itcher.


How to Find Rare Films? Finally the Answer You’ve Been Waiting For!

Wondering how to find rare films?

Have you ever heard of this Italian masterpiece of 354 minutes, by Marco Tullio Giordana, “The Best of Youth” (“La Meglio Gioventù” in Italian)? Or have you seen that Korean mystery thriller “Old Boy”? These are both excellent movies and yet, we barely heard of them when they got out – about 10 years ago only.

We are totally lost in an ocean of information and it’s becoming harder every day to find the answer we’re looking for

The internet continuous growth is supposed to make our lives (our specific researches anyway) easier; however its outcome is actually the opposite! We are totally lost in an ocean of information and it’s becoming harder every day to find the answer we’re looking for.

Sure the info is out there, but how to find it?


How to Find Rare Movies?

There’s the old times ways...

Unless you ask our good old friend Google “where can I find rare movies?” and spend useless hours browsing the web in vain for an answer, I see only 2 old school solutions for you …

You go from DVD stores to DVD stores, asking the sellers about their new discoveries, hoping that they do have new ones and that the movies are in stock. But to be honest, this method is on the road to ruin at a time where VOD explodes, and nobody wants to pay £15 for a movie they’re not sure they’ll enjoy and they’ll probably watch one time, so it’s just rude to ask advices to a seller and not buy from him...

So are we doomed to watch only Supermans, James Bonds or other blockbusters?? Fortunately no we’re not …

Another good old fashion style is to dissect the Time Out or others journals or radio shows to find rare and good movies. But let’s face it, unless you have all the time in the world to try all the movies they talk about, or unless there’s a cinema critic you absolutely trust, it’s really occasional to find a hidden gem!

So are we doomed to watch only Supermans, James Bonds or other blockbusters? Fortunately no we’re not …


And now there’s itcher!

The best way to find great rare films has always been, still is and will always be the word-of-mouth! Mentalities don’t change (on this matter) and that’s a good thing, but technology does and that’s an even better thing! Because now, this word-of-mouth has evolved, got up to date, is more efficient, is more accurate and is now called itcher!

Find and select from which mouth you want that word to come!

Because now, this word-of-mouth has evolved, got up to date, is more efficient, is more accurate and is now called itcher!

itcher is an app that works as a word-to-mouth platform. It’ll allow you to find rare (and great) movies instantly, whether you are comfortably at home or in the bus stuck in traffic jam or wherever you want …


How Does it Work?

All you have to do is enter your preferences, tell itcher which movies you loved and which one you hated, and it will take care of the rest! It will create your profile and put you in contact with people with similar interests

Sounds simple? It is, yet really efficient! And the beauty of it is that the more you use it, the more accurate your profile is and basically, the better it gets!

Give it a try!


How to Find Movies I Might Like? Try Itcher

How to find movies I might like?

Well, sometimes knowing what you want is tricky.

When it comes to movies, the choice is immense and all you want is to get a good recommendation for a nice movie to watch at home, feet up and drink/snacks in hand.

You may ask yourself questions like What do I like? What's trending? Where do I start? How do I search?

Let's face it, a generic search may come up with movies you really don't intend to watch (and never will). You could call a friend and ask, but how many movie buffs do you know? And do you share the same taste in movies?


How to Find a Movie I Like

How to find movies that you like is easier said than done.

Getting recommendations for movies is so much easier when real people can suggest titles for you instead of relying on a computer to do the work, but unless you are a super-networker with thousands of friends and contacts, it's quite a challenge to find real-time information on what to watch.

How to find movies that you like is easier said than done.

Say, for example, that you like the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal.

If you are a fan of that genre or of Meg Ryan (before she went a bit weird, remember her TV appearance on Parkinson?), you may have already seen Sleepless in Seattle or You've Got Mail, but now you want to find more similar movies to When Harry Met Sally.


“I'll have what she's having”

Do you remember the legendary phrase “I'll have what she's having” in the scene from When Harry Met Sally (if you haven't, it's worth watching!)?

If it's good enough for her, then it's good enough for me

If someone anywhere in the world likes the same films as you, they may have watched a movie you didn't know about and be able to recommend it to you. These recommendations will match your own personality and taste.

If it's good enough for her, then it's good enough for me

You may want to find something that is not a blockbuster – one of those small, independent films that only a few people know about.


Introducing itcher

itcher is a new recommendation engine for movies, music, books and games. What's different about itcher?

First of all, itcher is very easy to use.

itcher lets you discover more of what you love (books, music, films, games) through like-minded people. The ratings are all based on compatibility to match your own taste.

itcher is not just an engine: it's also a community.

itcher has one of the best user interfaces – it's very attractive. But itcher is not just a pretty (inter-)face: the results you get are a strong match to your preferences. It's because you want fast, accurate and relevant results that itcher was developed.

Also, if you want more than just movies, itcher will also give you ideas on music, books and games from like-minded people.

itcher is not just an engine: it's also a community.