Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Searching for some new tunes?

I find myself floundering around when it comes to finding new music that I enjoy beyond the first play of a CD, and I've blown more than a few dollars on discs that end up stashed somewhere never to be played again. If you suffer from the same condition, I've recently come across two services/sites that help guide the musically lost - http://pandora.com and http://last.fm.

The concept behind Pandora is analysis-driven as artists and groups are categorized by style, genre, etc. and stashed in a database, you simply provide an artist or group that you enjoy and you are fed songs that match a similar profile. You can setup a "station" for those profiles and listen on cruise control for free for 10 hours, after which you need to fork over 36 bucks a year.

Last.fm is similar in that it can be driven by a profile of an artist or group you provide, but what makes it quite cool in my mind is that you can also select your music through tags a la del.icio.us or flickr. The other seriously cool feature that differentiates Last.fm in my mind is that you can download a plug-in for your media player to automatically build your own "my favourite tunes" list that is then rolled up across all Last.fm users, resulting in a collaborative quasi-Top 100. You need to download a player to listen to their ad-free 128kbps streams, and subscriptions are free from what I can tell on the site, so sign-up and give it a whirl.

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