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Author Topic: nice long review of music recommendation sites  (Read 1961 times)

mouser

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nice long review of music recommendation sites
« on: June 01, 2006, 04:05:39 PM »
nice long review comparing music *recommendation* sites.

Quote
...
What these services do is help us find these artists by feeding you tunes similar to those you've selected yourself. Usually you can then stream customized radio stations based on your musical tastes. Artists come from all genres, from the obscure to the mainstream, from yesterday to today, and from the crappy to the "I wonder why they aren't on the radio." Either way, whatever your musical tastes, you're bound to discover something new you'll like.
...



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JavaJones

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Re: nice long review of music recommendation sites
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006, 09:16:43 PM »
Good idea for a review. I honestly wasn't aware of any such systems besides Pandora. Having read the review I'm not sure I care though. Most of the other services either have limited media (30 second clips) or none at all. Personally I think their scoring was too lenient, or at least bunched at one end of the spectrum - above 5 of 10 (this is a common flaw in reviews). For example I would have expected LivePlasma to get a 5 at best from their description, but it got a 7. Pandora on the other hand scored only 2 points better than LivePlasma with a 9, yet they seemed quite impressed by it for the most part (aside some IMO minor complaints about recommendations getting old). But I guess their standards/needs aren't the same as mine. Personally I think if you're being recommended new music it's absolutely vital that you get to hear at least a little of it! Without that the recommendation is largely useless IMO, or at worst it encourages piracy. ;)

Anyway I think I figured out what weighted their review most and that was the recommendations they received, followed closely by community support. The features and in fact most of the other criteria they listed seemed to weigh less heavily. Looking at Yahoo's low score of a 5 it seems largely due to the fact that it didn't introduce them to much new music. This may also explain their choice of Last.fm for the "winner", despite the fact that Pandora had a 9/10 score as well, and seemed to offer them a lot of good recommendations too. I can understand that leaning, it would just be nice if they were more up-front about it.

Nonetheless it does sound like Last.fm is great at what it does. Basically it's Pandora with community features but no "expert reviewed music recommendations", which is really what I like about Pandora. The Music Genome Project is an amazing idea IMO. Anyway so I don't personally feel Last.fm eclipses Pandora for *my* needs and interests, but it is more feature-rich which is nice.

Overall a decent review, just seemed a bit tilted. But maybe that's just because I like Pandora so much. :D

- Oshyan

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Re: nice long review of music recommendation sites
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2006, 12:53:47 AM »
I went to Last.fm  and searched for a few jazz pianists (eg bobby timmons) Got really excited because of the number of people who had reportedly listened to him recently (from Last.fm one would assume) and thought "wow, this is a great site to have him being streamed"

I downloaded and installed their listening software on that basis, then was stumped for awhile when it reported "not enough content" and nothing was streamed. "Not enough content is to be read as NO bobby timmons.  On investigation, the numbers who listened to him did so on their own computer, independent of Last.fm and it was this statistic that was being reported (ie last.fm tracks winamp usage)
Pandora is still #1 for me

JavaJones

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Re: nice long review of music recommendation sites
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2006, 01:03:31 AM »
Yeah, that's one of those things about Last.fm. To be honest I was only familiar with this aspect of it until reading this review - basically the "stats system" that reads what people are listening to and reports it. That didn't seem terribly interesting to me, it doesn't inherently help you find new, good music. It seems like Last.fm does have some other faclities for finding new tunes, but Pandora seems much more purpose-built for this. That's part of why I'm kind of annoyed at this review for its focus on the community aspect. There are lots of "music communities" that can help you find new music through peer recommendation, many of which aren't reviewed here (they don't qualify on all points in most cases). I kind of think of a "music recommendation site" as a place that has some custom system that *itself* recommends new music, so going into the review I was expecting to see some other cool technical solutions like Pandora's. To be honest I was excited to see what others might be doing along these lines - sophisticated technical solutions. Most of them aren't though, they're just regurgitations of existing systems, often times based in the likely-to-be-highly-flawed individual perception and opinion of non-experts. Not that only experts can determine what good music is, but the premise of Pandora is that people like music for a reason and that you can find out scientifically what that reason is. I think that's exciting, more so than any other project, and it seems to work fairly well in practice. Even if it does slip up sometimes the sheer promise and idea of it is IMO far more worthwhile to support than most of the other examples.

- Oshyan