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The Music Streaming Throwdown Pt. 2

This week marks the conclusion of the special online music streaming throwdown. Last week we compared Spotify to Rdio, and this week we’ll look at online radio options.

For those of you who don’t want to spend the time making your own playlists, Internet radio is a great option. Two major players in Internet radio are Pandora and Songza. When you go to pick one for your finals study sessions, consider these pros and cons.

Pandora: This is the most well-known Internet radio option. It’s not the original, but it may as well be because it got so many people to start using the Internet to listen to music. They use some weird logic about the music genome project, but for the most part the algorithm that chooses the music seems to just stick within a genre. You choose an artist and Pandora will create a station based on it. Sometimes you get a wild card artist in the mix but for the most part you’ll get songs along the same lines of the artist you entered.

Pros: Easy. Do you know what artist you like and want to hear more? Just type it in and get some new bands to listen to. Free as long as you don’t mind ads. It had some idea of pay accounts but it never took off. Integrated into a lot of different products, mostly cars.

Cons: If you don’t know what you feel like listening to, you’re out of luck. You can only skip five songs. The ads are terrible, annoying and constant. Sometimes after listening for a while it shuts down, which is obnoxious when you just have it on for background music.


Songza: This is the new kid on the Internet radio scene. It enlists “music experts” to create playlists as opposed to the “music genome project.” They have a playlist for everything and everyone. Users can find playlists based on individual artists, but they can also look for activities and moods.

Pros: The music choices. There are so many playlists that you literally have one for everything. The music concierge is perfect when you’re indecisive about what you want to listen to and you just have a general idea of what you’d like to hear. Having playlists organized by mood and activity

is the best part without a doubt. There are no ads and it is completely free.

Cons: You can only skip 5 songs, same with Pandora. The playlists don’t really shuffle or change so if you’ve listened to one multiple times you’re going to get a lot of repeats and that can get old. It doesn’t “listen” to your feedback like Pandora does when you like or dislike a song.

So there you have it, Voice readers. You are now equipted to make an informed choice about your music streaming options. There are a lot more out there, but this should help you get started.

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