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The Top Online Radio Stations

By Edited Jun 20, 2015 0 2

Tired of using generic online radio stations? Looking to add some variety to your music selections? Then check out three inovative online radio stations! Be sure to check out the mobile applications of any you like as well. 

3. Pandora

Remember how amazing Pandora was when it first came out? You'd type in your favorite artist(s) or genre(s), and then a station with a similarly sound would play. No commercials, no ads, just pure music. Everything you ever wanted from a real world radio station conveniently located online. Pure bliss. However, that bliss began to fade. Stations never seemed to update and would play the same songs, in the same order, and sometimes even duplicate tracks. Ads moved in. And of course, we all know this screen:

Are you still there?

These are all tolerable expenses to pay, so, we kept coming back to you, Pandora. Mostly because you were still good enough. The fact that we also didn't know where else to go played a little part as well.


2. Songza


Introducing music based on mood and occasions! Songza is a lot of fun to use and play around with. It drills down a few more levels and provides you with three playlist choices. Needless to say, it has a simple and easy to use interface and is pretty straight forward. No account or log in required. No commercials. Just go to the site, pick what you're in the mood for and go. Unfortunately, the music is put together by admins so the playlist selection sometimes feels limited. User submissions are an incredible thing and it's what separates two from one. 


1. 8tracks


8tracks is a radio station for the users, by the users. Enter a few tags, moods, genes, artists and pick from a vast collection of user submitted playlists. Tags are all over the map, from general "awesome" to specific "gardening". Search for the most specific tag you can think of and 8tracks probably has it. All free, no commercials, easily navigated. One thing that I would recommend is to create an account. Being a member drastically improves upon the guest experience by making you feel more involved with the ever growing and evolving 8tracks community. Like someones playlist? Tell them why and check out some of their other mixes, then follow them. Puting together your own playlist(s), choosing an album cover, title, tags is a fun and rewarding experience whether you're making your playlist just for you or for the masses. They may listen, like, comment and follow you. Or, they may not. In any case, having an online radio station full of your uniquely created playlists and imaginative tags, isn't such a thing to have, is it?  



Have some stations you think I should check out? Let me know! 



Dec 15, 2013 1:52pm
I've actually tried all of these options as well as a ton of others (iHeart Radio, Slacker, etc) and have yet to discover a streaming music service that can hold a candle to Pandora. I've run many comparisons over time and none of the offerings are as well-tuned and responsive is the music genome used by Pandora. Several friends have pointed out the tendency for stations to start repeating songs, but I would like to point out that this is something that seems to happen when the user does not take the time to add seeds to the station in order to increase variety to the tracks. Most people I've spoken to seem to assume that continuing to just "thumb up" or "thumb down" will just automatically continue adding an infinite number of artists/tracks to your station, but in actuality I've found that the more customization through using the thumbs seems to reduce the variety as the program zeroes in on your specific preferences for that station which is why you may get more repeats.

I've found that the tactic that works the best for me is by cluster building stations. When I say cluster building, I mean that you start a new station, wait until you get to the first track that you "thumbs up" and then use that track as a new seed for the station. Then continue to do this with a few more seeds. What happens is that you create a station that has several artists to draw from that are similar to each other, but different enough to used their nuances to build out your variety further while keeping the sound you're getting consistent with the essence of the station you wanted to create. You end up getting a rich amount of new functionality out of stations that became stale long ago.
Dec 21, 2013 7:49pm
Thanks for the article. I still like Pandora quite a bit, but it's good to know about other stations doing the same thing.
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