The number of websites promising to be able to recommend new music to users based upon their current listening habits is proliferating. This overview is intended to provide a quick guide. If you’re aware of any more or have comments on any of the ones listed below, please do let me know. Thanks.
Last.fm is an Internet radio station and music recommendation system that merged with sister site Audioscrobbler in August 2005. The system builds a detailed profile of each user’s musical taste, also recommending artists similar to their favorites, showing their favourite artists and songs on a customizable profile webpage, comprising the songs played on its stations selected via a collaborative filter, or optionally, recorded by a Last.fm plugin installed into its users’ music playing application.
I’ve been a user for two years so this is the site I can most confidently talk about. You can view my page here. Last.FM claims to have a user base of 15 million accounts. Downloading and installing the free plugin enables Last.FM to compile weekly and overall charts and, after it’s received a certain amount of data, offer recommendations based upon your current listening habits and list
Mog is an increasingly popular site along the lines of Last.FM, but with a great social emphasis reflected in the availability of blogs.
“imeem is an online community where people and groups can upload, share, tag, and playlist the media they care about. There’s something for everyone: videos, music, photos, playlists, and blogs – plus it’s 100% free! Here are some of the things you can do on imeem: Discover / Interact / Share.”
“Ever since we started the Music Genome Project, our friends would ask: Can you help me discover more music that I’ll like? Those questions often evolved into great conversations. Each friend told us their favorite artists and songs, explored the music we suggested, gave us feedback, and we in turn made new suggestions. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal DJs. We created Pandora so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you.”
“Check out what your friends are listening to, browse the libraries of people with similar tastes, and get Free MP3 downloads by new artists matched to your own music tastes… Share music libraries with your friends, browse and sample their most played songs, and compare your compatibility scores… Auto-organize your iTunes library, share your music tastes with friends, and get music recommendations directly in iTunes.”
“At the heart of The Filter is a music recommendation engine that is continually learning the listening tastes and choices of thousands of music lovers. This huge collection of information is combined with your own likes and dislikes to create a personal understanding of what songs from your collection you will like to listen to and when.”
Visit: The Filter
An intriguingly different interface allows the user to set a number of parameters such as hit/non-hit, decade, mood, dance tempo and genre on a menu modeled on a TV remote. Once your initial choice is set, a spaghetti cord snakes out across the screen on which a series of tracks are listed – click any of them and the track begins to play. Intuitive, simple and a pleasure to use. The music plays by default in LoFi mode – HiFi is a paid option.
“Goombah analyzes your iTunes collection and finds a unique set of matching members that share your taste – your iPod’s soul mates. It recommends their favorite tracks that are not in your collection. Goombah also suggests specific free tracks to download, or you can browse our entire Free Music collection of professionally produced music. Goombah currently draws recommendations from more than 6 million tracks in our members’ collections. Recommendations are changing all the time and new free tracks are added every week on “Free Music Fridays”.”