Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Last.fm, Pandora or Musicmatch Jukebox Radio

Thanks to the social networking, even sharing music tastes online has these days become a fad; and all of a sudden there've been quite a few services online which provide you recommendations based on your tastes, the most popular of them being Pandora and last.fm. last.fm provides recommendations based on other listeners who share the "same" music taste as you, whereas Pandora uses some "fuzzy" logic to get it's recommendations. Before either of these services were on the scene, I would use MusicMatch Jukebox radio (due to its free CD quality streaming for one hour) and generally search for a particular artist and select "Play this and similar artists", and now after trying both Pandora and last.fm the same way, at least I've found that MusicMatch's recommendations were the best. The way I tried is quite simple; search for the same set of artists (mostly 80s bands like a-ha, Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Belinda Carlisle etc.) on all the three services and see which one plays the songs you like the most and helps you in discovering new music. last.fm came with quite good recommendations but mostly songs that I'd listened to before, so not such great a thing if you're looking at finding new music matching your taste (though it did come with "Pictures of You - Cure", which I bought almost immediately!); Pandora's recommendations were beyond me but MusicMatch would per session at least play one song which I'd fall in love with: be it Afterglow by INXS, Moonlight Shadow by Mike Oldfield, The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore by Walker Brothers or numerous others. My word of advice: if you're into discovering new music give all three a spin and see which one works the best for you; I'd recommend the Jukebox the most though.
Happy listening!

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