January 26, 2006

The New Radio

A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to Pandora, an amazing music site, and let’s just say I now know why they call it Pandora. It has since opened my ears to so much new music that I don’t even know how to process it all. Just today I found a band called a Azure Ray. A band I am slowly falling in love with.

As if one great new site wasn’t enough, another friend with whom I had shared Pandora told me about Last.fm. While this site is a littler more complicated and designed to do different things, I think a combination of the two is great. Take some time and push the buttons so to speak on this site, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the number of things you can do and the great music that will pour out from your speakers.

Each allows you to find new music that you are likely to enjoy. Last.fm does this through analysis of what you listen to and like (and what others listen to and like). Pandora encodes different aspects of music and determines what you might like based on those factors.

Pandora is easier to use because it takes absolutely no setup and streams music on the site itself. Last.fm uses tagging and has social network aspects, but you have to download the player to listen to music.

I find Last.fm to be better at playing music I’ve heard before and like, whereas Pandora tends to introduce me to entirely new bands.

I am slowly becoming a tech head, and that last paragraph actually makes a bit of sense to me. If it seems like too much info to consume, don’t worry the sites are both easier than that. Both are great sites that allow you to share your thoughts and tastes in music. I have never been a fan of radio, because I felt it was too confining. But now the DJs have become giant computers and thousands of other people who like music similar to me. Have fun. These sites will change your life.

And if you find anything spectacular share it with me. Stay tuned, I will soon be keeping a running list of bands, I discover using these sites, on my website Intrepid Flame.

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