If I want to hear all of my favorite songs, I can just listen to the “My Top Rated” playlist in iTunes. One of the real values of a good online music service is the ability to turn you on to good new music that you DID NOT know about.
These days I find just about all of my bands from suggestions on my favorite services. Let’s take a look at how our players stack up on the issue of Music Discovery.
Music Discovery Comparison
iLike.com – They give you the option of seeing “New Music from Your Friends”, “New Music from Your Favorite Artists”, or “New Music from People with Similar Taste”. These are some good ways to find good new music.
Music Discovery While there are many less-than-great things about this service, iLike does a decent job of showing me good music that I have not heard before. (4 Stars)
Jango.com – When you build a playlist, they start to suggest other artists that are similar to the ones you have selected. You can leave them alone to hear them occasionally, add these artists to the mix to hear them often, or delete them so you never hear them. Usually I’ll add artists that I don’t know to give them a listen. If I don’t like the, I just delete them later on.
Music Discovery Again, I always seem to .
Last.FM – I’m not exactly sure how Last.FM determines which new artists to play for me. I’m also not sure that they’re any good at it either. Whenever I select the “My Recommendations” option I never really like what I hear. However, when I select the “My Neighborhood” option, which plays favorites of people with similar taste to me, I usually do like what I hear. Does that mean that the masses are smarter than them? Probably.
Music Discovery Their suggestions are actually not that good, but the “Neighborhood” ones help me find some decent new music occasionally. (3 Stars)
MusicStrands.com – Yet another thing that they suck at. I’m starting to wish I had just left them out of this series all together.
Music Discovery Pure crap. (1 Star)
Rating: Only because I don’t have a zero stars image.
Pandora.com – Pandora uses some scientific mumbo-jumbo to find music that you’ll like. They constantly mix in “new” music with the songs that you already like using this algorithm. I’m not quite sure how it works, but boy does it ever!
Music Discovery This is where Pandora leaves everyone else in the dust. They never fail to amaze me with the mix of great songs that I have heard and great songs from artists that I usually like. At least half of the cool new music that I’ve found in the last two years has come directly from Pandora recommendations. (5 Stars)
Rating: I wish I could give them more than 5.
Shoutcast.com – Shoutcast is just a collection of online radio stations. Your odds of finding good new music are only as good as the station that you pick.
Music Discovery I’m not really that into how Shoutcast works, but I guess you could hunt around and find something worthwhile. (3 Stars)
Rating: Decent, but not for me.
Slacker.com – Slacker gives you plenty of options to adjust your stations music selections. You can stick with more “familiar” music or go for a mix of “newer” artists. This generally helps you find lots of good stuff that I did not know about.
Music Discovery If I’m in the mood to find a lot of good new music I can make Slacker send me a mix of mostly new music that I tend to like. (4 Stars)
Rating: Nice job!
Have Your Say
Well, you know what I think, let’s hear what you think. You can select more than one choice below if you have a tie for your most reliable service.