Grooveshark, Pandora and Turntable . . . Oh, Spotify!

August 6, 2011 at 11:51 PM (Musings) (, , , , , , , )

Assuming you don’t live under a rock without WiFi access, chances are you recognize at least one of the web-based music services listed above. Initially, I felt overwhelmed with options, feeling obligated to choose the “best” of the bunch, but it didn’t take long for me to figure out that a) the Interwebs wasn’t holding a gun to my head or a contract to sign with blood b) all four serve different purposes for me to determine as and when I see fit. Curious? You should be, if you’re still bothering to read this:

Pandora
The beginning of it all, as far as I can recall (and the source of tonight’s tunes, below). Pandora is great when you don’t feel like handpicking your playlists, or want to find some new tunes. For instance, this afternoon I felt Jamiroquai-ish, but my knowledge of anything remotely similar is just shy of nonexistent. I don’t even know how to try and describe the genre. Solution: punch “Virtual Insanity” into Pandora and enjoy the resulting playlist. The major downsides for me are the commercials and the skipping limit (particularly when the station is getting really out of whack). While I don’t use it that often, I know that other folks regularly run up against the allotted playtime with the free membership, which can be a heckuva downer toward the end of the month.

Grooveshark
Grooveshark also has a radio offering, but unless you have a bunch of songs in mind, it takes a while to calibrate to what you like. That said, there is no limit to song-skipping, and no commercials. Win! I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard you can also upload content, which is pretty nifty. Grooveshark is my go-to when I want to listen to top 500 – yes, they have a pre-made playlist with the 500 most-played songs on Grooveshark, and you can listen to them in any order. You can also tailor the playlist, adding and deleting whatever you like. Downside: no Beatles. At all.

Spotify
Think iTunes, without having to buy any of the songs – and being able to link up with your Facebook friends’ Spotify lists. That said, if you want to play the songs without an internet connection or commercials, you have to pay for the membership (What is it with these people wanting my money? Don’t they understand how important my beer budget is?), but the commercials are much less frequent than Pandora; sometimes they even recommend public/ promoted playlists that I find interesting, so the targeting is pretty solid. Other pluses include a desktop client with a very nice user interface, which means no extra tabs to keep open, and the fact that my Klout score was high enough to merit an invite during the limited release. Yes, I am susceptible to ego boosts. Sue me. Downside: no radio option that I’ve discovered as of yet.

Turntable.fm
Turntable.fm is definitely the odd duckling of this collection. I really only use it on Friday afternoon at work with my coworkers for an eclectic jam session. It’s a social DJ platform where users can enter different “rooms” and tune in or, if there’s an open turntable (there are five to a room), spin some of their own. Other people in the same room can rank each tune as “lame” or “rock on,” earning the DJ who selected the song points that can go toward an avatar (or maybe something else, but again, I don’t spend too much time on the site). In addition, each room has a chat bar where listeners can comment and make suggestions. It’s a good time, but unless it’s a Friday afternoon, there’s too much unpredictability for my tastes.

What are your thoughts on the internet radio world? Pros? Cons? Don’t give a rat’s posterior? Let me know.

Tonight’s Tunes
“Secret,” Maroon 5
“Nobody,” Kate Earl
“Around the World,” Daft Punk
“Dance with Me” (ft. Treysongz), Kevin Lyttle
“Heaven Sent You,” Howard Hewett

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4 Comments

  1. Anjana said,

    No offence meant but you might want to proofread a bit! 🙂

    • Brittany Falconer said,

      That’s what I get for posting on a Saturday night. Cheers.

      • anjmenon said,

        No worries! I got the exact same reaction from a friend! Cheers! x

  2. Anjana said,

    Love tonight’s tunes btw. You guys in the US have so many services. Us poor folk in Europe have Spotify which I LOVE to bits!

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