I like to think of myself as an avid and eclectic music listener. I have fallen in love with Vivaldi to Alison Krauss to Cradle of Filth. After I left high school, I felt that I was loosing touch with the music world and went in search for a solution.
One such solution was presented to me by my boss, as a first year at Wellesley, my boss showed me Pandora and I thought it was a miracle. Radio that caters to what the user wants to listen to? Amazing! But then there were the conflicts that had with Pandora. At times it would throw in the most random songs and artists. There were other times that it was too good at matching my preferences and the station would be dull. Then there is the limit of how many times you can skip songs, which really takes away from the very idea of user control. Now, I try to avoid Pandora all together after they changed the interface. The entire iPhone-Cocoa Touch-like approach is all wrong for the web. What’s more, most of the interactions are extremely awkward with a mouse and not at all intuitive. Navigating the information at the bottom is using the page control design from Cocoa Touch which is great if one can swipe, but that is not possible on the computer, for the most part. So Pandora has failed me and I am on the search again.
My next stop was Last.fm. This was a decent experience. It was much more liberating than Pandora and it provided more information pertaining the music, even though it is primarily driven by the user community unlike Pandora that had music professionals classifying music and the like. You can make your own stations just the same. Love songs you enjoy and block songs you don’t. I still felt like I wasn’t able to explore music really because if I liked an artist and wanted to hear more, making a station for them would just give me music more like them but not necessarily my desired artist.
Then comes my salvation, sweet sweet Grooveshark. My knight in shining armor after iMeem left me to go to MySpace. Grooveshark is very much like iMeem, for those who knew it, without the social aspect. User’s can create playlists however they want and save them for later. If you enjoyed a song you can heart it and you will accumulate a favorites playlist. you can also search for specific albums, artists, collaborations, etc. and hear everything you want for however long you want!
I give you all your musical exploration savior.