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View Full Version : Pandora vs. Slacker vs. Last.fm vs. Genius



EyeRonik1
2009-02-08, 17:39
Hi gang,

I listen to all of these, and here are my comparisons:

Pandora - My favorite, but it has some quirks. It has a huge supply of artists and generally creates a nice station from a suggestion. Here are the quirks though:
- Limited supply of music per station. Once I get it tuned if I listen to a station a lot I get a lot of repeats.
- Prioritizes era over similarity. For example, when I seed "Neil Young" I get a ton of 1970's artists such as Jimi and The Who by default. This is crazy and wrong - I want music that sounds like Neil Young, not music on the radio at the time his biggest hits were popular. He has had about 20 albums since then. This is a major failing of Pandora and contrary to their story.
- A Jack Johnson seed creates a station filled with improvisational jazz, even after killing every instance of it. When I want Chick Corea, I'll create a station for him.

Slacker - As broad coverage as Pandora, and it creates very different stations from the same seeds. It doesn't have the era bug and the variety is broader and I'm listening to Slacker more and more.
The downside - it has audio ads in the stream. They are often mixed to be louder than the music and it's disturbing. I'd listen more to it if they just mixed down the volume of the ads.

Last.FM - I listen occasionally but when I do it's great. I have the free account so I only listen to the "Recommended" station but it's usually quite good, better than the Quickmix on Pandora. I scrobble both iTunes and my iPods, and Squeezecenter so it knows me pretty well.

Genius - When I'm listening to iTunes I usually use Genius instead of Party Shuffle now. It has the same era bug as Pandora - when I select any classic rock song I only get classic rock suggested, but it's often much better than that. It's good for a more eclectic mix when using non-classic rock songs.

I never got MusicIP to work.

How do others feel?

maggior
2009-02-08, 18:50
I find myself using slacker a lot. The ads don't bother me. last.fm always gave me mixes that were too oscure. Pandora works great if you are trying to branch out for new music. I'm not always in the mood for this.

Slacker does great through a large variety of genres. I use it for 80s pop and hair metal for my wife. I have a great kiddie station set up for the kiddies. For me, I have prog rock, bop, fusion, and rock set up, along with some artist stations.

Slacker seems to fit my listening moods most consistently. I do find that over time it does start to repeat songs.

marklings
2009-02-09, 01:40
Hi,
I listen to LastFM a lot and to Pandora from time to time.
Stragely my opinion would be the opposite of yours. I find LastFM repeats too much after a while. Also they really overweight period vs. musical characteristics
I found Pandora more usefule to discover new stuff.
But then again I use LastFM way more than Pandora
Could it be that when you use a radio service a lot in the end they all show similar, understandably, limitations ?

Cheers, Mark.


Hi gang,

I listen to all of these, and here are my comparisons:

Pandora - My favorite, but it has some quirks. It has a huge supply of artists and generally creates a nice station from a suggestion. Here are the quirks though:
- Limited supply of music per station. Once I get it tuned if I listen to a station a lot I get a lot of repeats.
- Prioritizes era over similarity. For example, when I seed "Neil Young" I get a ton of 1970's artists such as Jimi and The Who by default. This is crazy and wrong - I want music that sounds like Neil Young, not music on the radio at the time his biggest hits were popular. He has had about 20 albums since then. This is a major failing of Pandora and contrary to their story.
- A Jack Johnson seed creates a station filled with improvisational jazz, even after killing every instance of it. When I want Chick Corea, I'll create a station for him.

Slacker - As broad coverage as Pandora, and it creates very different stations from the same seeds. It doesn't have the era bug and the variety is broader and I'm listening to Slacker more and more.
The downside - it has audio ads in the stream. They are often mixed to be louder than the music and it's disturbing. I'd listen more to it if they just mixed down the volume of the ads.

Last.FM - I listen occasionally but when I do it's great. I have the free account so I only listen to the "Recommended" station but it's usually quite good, better than the Quickmix on Pandora. I scrobble both iTunes and my iPods, and Squeezecenter so it knows me pretty well.

Genius - When I'm listening to iTunes I usually use Genius instead of Party Shuffle now. It has the same era bug as Pandora - when I select any classic rock song I only get classic rock suggested, but it's often much better than that. It's good for a more eclectic mix when using non-classic rock songs.

I never got MusicIP to work.

How do others feel?

EyeRonik1
2009-02-09, 13:38
Hi,
Could it be that when you use a radio service a lot in the end they all show similar, understandably, limitations ?

Cheers, Mark.

Mark,

I'll bet you nailed it. I listen to Last.fm for a change of pace. I don't listen often enough to notice its flaws. I listened to Pandora exclusively for a year, so I know it's warts (and songs) pretty well.

We live in a wonderful time - remember back to 2006, when all we had was radio, iPods and home entertainment systems? Takes you back doesn't it?

Ron

Ben Sandee
2009-02-09, 14:20
On Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 6:39 PM, EyeRonik1
<EyeRonik1.3nbewn1234140001 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
> - A Jack Johnson seed creates a station filled with improvisational
> jazz, even after killing every instance of it. When I want Chick Corea,
> I'll create a station for him.

Interesting that you mention Jack Johson and Pandora. I get so much
Jack Johnson on Pandora it's crazy. I don't hate on JJ, but I have
had to resort to temporary bans on him because he gets so much Pandora
play with my account.

Ben

ajkidle
2009-02-10, 13:39
Mark,

We live in a wonderful time - remember back to 2006, when all we had was radio, iPods and home entertainment systems? Takes you back doesn't it?

Ron

Owning a Squeezebox is like living in the future.