Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Awesome Websites For The Collector: Part 3 - Web Radio

I have alot of music, both legally gained and gained by "questionable" means, but one thing is for sure, I would not know as much as I do (about bands and websites) without reading other people's work. So I am passing the knowledge on to whomever needs it.

[Note]: I am not condoning the illegal download of music, or anything. Although I have partook in that pastime before, I am currently a member of several legal sites, and I enjoy the physical trading of CD's (of which I'm not sure of the legality).

Web Radio
  • Last.FM - My favorite. It has the largest web page library (not music) out of any web radio I've found. This is due to the fact that anyone can edit the pages (another wikipedia-like music site). I signed up for this 3 years ago and I love it. It keeps track of all the songs I play on its radio, my iTunes, and my iPod. I'm sure other sites can do that too, but these guys were the first. It's hosted out of the UK, so it has a more varied music collection. It has a stand-alone player that you can download, or you don't have to, but it runs better with the player. You don't have to sign up to use the service, and you will lose nothing, except the count of how many songs you're playing and when.
  • Pandora - Another one like Last.FM, one of the originals (to my knowledge). It too has the option of a downloaded player, but doesn't put as much emphasis on it. It doesn't make you sign up, but it becomes hard to listen to what you want if you don't. You get about 5 or 6 songs then it prompts you to sign up to hear more. You can exit the program (your Internet browser) and do it again, for another 5 songs. Kind of annoying, if you don't want to create a profile.
  • Musicovery - A very interesting view on the web-radio. While the selection isn't great, and it is kind of difficult to hear a certain artist (at least compared to Pandora or Last.FM), the way it is organized and looks makes up for it (sorta). I can't really describe how it is, you have to see it for yourself. It's like it makes a "web" of songs, and takes you down the path. You can see what songs are coming up (something that the others don't do), so you can plan accordingly. It definitely focuses on the mainstream, with some variation on different genres like funk or blues. Another interesting aspect of it, is how it searches for songs. You can't search artist, only genre (you check off the ones you want) and your "mood." Moods range from dark/positive to energetic/calm and anywhere in between. I'm not sure what they all mean, but it's still something different. Musicovery is for the casual listener, looking for the same old, with a new spin.
  • Slacker - I haven't used this one, so I can't claim it is good or bad. But I found it, so I'm sharing it. It's US only. Giving it a quick once-over, I like that you can pause the songs (most other web radios you can't), and it looks cool and loads quickly.
I only really use Last.FM, so I've only spent minimal time on the others. If you have a differing view, or know something about these, feel free to post! I'd like to know, and I'm sure someone else would enjoy hearing a little more about pros and cons of each.

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