Monday, March 05, 2012

An internet radio by any other name sounds just as sweet

Many music streaming services have popped up over the years -- Pandora,, Spotify. I tried some of them, and didn't even bother with others, because I became convinced that the good ole' Youtube has everything I need.

Most streaming services don't have the artists I listen to, and not because the artists are super-obscure. Well, they are, but not the hipster-kind of obscure. They are unknown to most people because of the genres they perform in: medieval, folk, or world music. Pandora and (at least two years ago, when I tried them) had almost nothing in those categories. But even the most arcane taste is represented on Youtube, where some obliging souls have uploaded records from my favorite early music groups -- Ensemble Organum, the Huelgas Ensemble, Anonymous 4, you-name-it. And if you add your favorite tracks to a playlist, it will play continuously without stopping, with no interruptions, and without commercials (unlike Spotify). And it will play exactly the artists and songs you selected, not the artists that are "like" them, the way Pandora does. Pandora is no good if you want to try an artist you haven't heard before but your friends rave about. I want to hear the songs by this specific artist, not ones that are "like" him or her.

YouTube lets you create an internet radio station -- even if it doesn't call it that -- exactly according to your tastes. So unless it changes its business model (hopefully not), I won't be subscribing to new music streaming services.

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