I used to listen to Pandora 40 hours a week, only when I was working. I’d turn it down low and keep it running until I clocked out. When they started limiting their free subscription to 40 hours per month, things started to go downhill. I had stopped listening to Pandora until relatively recently, only to find that now advertisements are wedged, frequently and conspicuously, between tracks are distracting and make the listening experience less-than-optimal. I guess it’s better than local radio, but then again almost any city has better radio than Monterey.
I much prefer Last.fm to Pandora. Once in a great while, there is an advertisement and they don’t seem to have the same negative effect on my listening experience as Pandora. The interface is also more appealing–it looks cooler and gives me more information that I want in a format that makes Pandora look bland. This is my new go-to-station.
Lately, I’ve also enjoyed listening to 8tracks–it’s cool to hear a “mix tape” that someone has put together. It makes me nostalgic for tapes that family, friends and strangers used to commonly share.
Another site that I’m currently checking out is Stereo Mood. From the little I’ve used it, I’ve enjoyed the eclectic mix of music that is strung together by, well, the mood of the tracks. The juxtaposition of genres united by emotive themes seems to work pretty well.
There are some other sites that I’ve listened to, and I’m sure new ones will come to my attention and pop up along the way. I’m just glad that I can listen to a variety of interesting music without having to blindly take a chance on buying CDs that I may or may not like, nor do I have to depend on knowing people who are really into discovering and sharing new music. Now I can be lazy and let the internet bring an interesting variety to me, as I do other things that I want to do as I listen to selections that have been assembled by another person or an algorithm. I like the internet.