Thing 8: Music to Your Ears: Radio, Last fm and Pandora


Thing 8 is: Music to Your Ears: Radio, Last fm and Pandora

The Wiki Page describing the thing is here:

Please post your thoughts about Music to your ears here in comments.  Enjoy!.


62 Responses to “Thing 8: Music to Your Ears: Radio, Last fm and Pandora”

  1. Shannonmc Says:

    Last fm was fun to explore. It was interesting to see what music you could find, which tracks were available and what videos. I did not like how the song was cut off when ever I navigated away from the song I was listenting to. I am not sure if this is something I caused or the way the site actually works. I did not find that particular component useful. The available music seems extensive and up to date. I can see referring patrons to the site if they are looking to listen to music while working on a paper or other projects while on the computer.

  2. ReluctantBlogger Says:

    This is a nice resource to refer patrons to, and I could have used it already when I was asked about a website where one could listen to music without having to download anything, inlcuding software. I explored both sites, and both are pretty easy to use. I don’t know which one I liked better. I think that in the Last FM I found it easier to find an artist and have some full songs to listen to, while in Pandora if you are looking for a particular song, you only get little snippets. I like the fact that in Last FM videos are displayed right there, although Pandora seems to have videos that are not available elsewhere. Another difference is that Pandora doesn’t seems to have a lot of European artists, and Last FM has a lot. However, I liked the radio feature better on Pandora, both in the interface and the functionality. I was especially pleased that, unlike Last FM, Pandora keep playing when you navigate between Pandora pages.

  3. bookbliss Says:

    Well, Pandora is my new favorite thing! I have checked out Last FM in the past and it is also a cool site, but I find Pandora more to my liking. With Pandora, I had great luck from the start. I entered Tom Waits as an artist I like, and the second song it played was by a band I’d never heard of before (Beach House) and I really liked the song! How cool is that? This site is a must for any music lover. The only negative I see so far is that you can only skip a set number of songs per hour (I think maybe it’s 5 songs per hour?) And I haven’t tried it yet, but you’ll probably have trouble using Pandora if you only have a dial-up connection. So I probably won’t be able to access it from home, but that’s okay. I will definitely keep this in mind as something to tell patrons about. Another great find…yay!

  4. forestlover Says:

    Pandora! What a great site! Thank you, thank you Library 2.1 for showing me something that will enrich my life! I enter a song and it is musically analyzed, which is something I’m not able to do myself, and then more songs are offered that meet that criteria. Who would have guessed that I like folk rock qualities, mixed acoustic electric instrumentation, major key tonality paired with vocal harmony and twangy guitars? Automatically I am exposed to a variety of artist and songs that I’ve never heard of. I’m listening to Clocks by Coldplay right now, a song that I have heard on the radio. I never caught the artist or the name of the song until now. I could get hooked on this. Creating a new station opens more options and QuickMix puts all my choices together to give me a variety of artist with similar sounds. Van Morrison blends into Eric Clapton into James Taylor etc. etc. I still have to explore LastFM, but if it’s as good as Pandora it might be too much for me to handle.

  5. sunflower Says:

    Pandora is really great!! Customized music just for that individual. It’s also easy to use as is Last fm. These sites were really fun to use and could be recommended to patrons. Enjoyed going down memory lane and listening to the 60’s oldies. Thank you so much Library 2.1 for sharing this with us.

  6. Spero Says:

    Love Pandora…found so many related artists in my favorite genre–indie pop & post punk, and really enjoy the artists bios as well as the list of similar artists. Very easy to use, share, and best of all it’s free. Haven’t tried the video series or using it on my phone. is the first music service widget I uploaded to my blog last June and it’s still simple to use and share.

  7. forestlover Says: is another intriguing site for music exploration. I liked the singer sound a likes, liked the videos, liked the “add to library” feature, and album song list, but did not like the YouTube videos. I listened to “Long Way to Run” one of my favorites by Collective Soul on YouTube to find the sound was so distorted I couldn’t stand it. It was filmed during a live performance in which the audience sang along off key. After a new search for Collective Soul, I found a song list, was able to click on “Run” and was connected to a video that gave me a cleaner version of the song. In my opinion this is another good site for anyone who loves music.

  8. D. Sebly Says:

    Hey, I love Pandora. I vaguely recall that I had read that Pandora was in some sort of iffy trouble concerning music-playing rights, but I’ve read nothing since. I’m listening to the Beatles right now, and what a pleasure it is to be able to listen to good quality recordings that unlike my overused CDs are not full of odd skips and blurry sounds that come with aging and overused CDs. OK, I need to break to create more stations on Pandora – maybe some world music, Django Reinhardt, lots of other great stuff.

  9. Michelle_N Says:

    These were fun sites to visit. I occasionally use Yahoo Music while at my computer at work so it was fun to find other sites. I liked how everything was at your fingertips on the interface at while Pandora was less flashy but worthwhile nonetheless. I will definitely be using them at work when I don’t remember to bring my ipod.

  10. JessNhem Says:

    These were interesting sites. I often listen to radio stations online broadcasts while at work, so these are good sites. Lastfm was more of a social site, which I liked, and I also enjoyed how the site was set up and there were spotlighted videos, music, and artists. Didn’t know Robert Pattinson was a singer also. (Total sidenote, I hope he makes a good Edmund, because I don’t feel he fits the part).
    I searched for the Boss (Bruce) in Pandora. I also looked at the Genre stations.

  11. rusty Says:

    I absolutely love Pandora! No matter what genre(s) of music you like, as long as you like music, you will love Pandora. I already bookmarked 16 of my favorite artists and I still have a lot more to go. Unlike some people, I can’t automatically come up with the name of the artist and/or song so this feature of bookmarking my favorites is great and it’s free! I also found several new artists that I really enjoyed but never heard about previously. When I listened to James Blunt’s radio station, I couldn’t believe what else I heard! The Eagles radio station was just as good. Thanks for suggesting this “Thing” to explore. Besides a good referral to our customers, sometimes we just need to play a little.

  12. beachylibrarian Says:

    I enjoyed both and Pandora, although I found the interfaces (especially Pandora) not all that intuitive. I had to just play around to find the artists I wanted. I wasn’t sure what “artist” radio was, and when I put in an artist or group (like the Beatles) it didn’t play Beatles songs, but songs of similar artists. I also was cut off several times. Still, I can see that you could spend a lot of enjoyable time exploring music on these sites, and of course, the best part is listening for free!

  13. Jo Says:

    Pandora gets a big thumbs up from me – more here:

  14. JackieCassidy Says:

    Music online is a great way to listen while you work. I found out that many of the radio stations I listen to in the car have live feeds available online. I was already familiar with Pandora, so I looked at I really like that you can play a specific song or listen to an artist/genre radio station. By customizing a radio station, you end up with a collection of songs comparible to what you may have on your iPod. Other nice features are the tour dates, seeing other similar artists, and links to purchase songs. I will certainly keep this one in mind. Previously, I considered Spiralfrog for online music, but is much better in my opinion.

  15. PMalasky Says:

    I love Pandora and cannot believe how well they pick music for me. It was great and now I am using it all the time. My next purchase will be a better set of speakers. The best part is it is free so if I buy the cable package without XM who cares. I really am enjoying Pandora.

  16. LibraryLady Says:

    Last FM is a big hit at my house now. Back in the day we would make our own “mixes” using cds and cassettes, this reminds me of the great combos we made. I like being suprised by what song is next, yet knowing it will be something I like. I can’t wait to tell my music loving patrons about it…(and Pandora, too)

  17. jodielynn Says:

    I really liked the music advisory’s aspect of Pandora. It made some really nice suggestions. Last FM is also a really good website for music lovers. It’s nice that users can listen to artists and decide if they like them before purchasing the music. You can do this on itunes as well but you can’t listen to the entire song. I probably won’t use these sites too much because I use itunes but it’s still nice to know about them.

  18. Rainey Says:

    Streaming music is not a new concept for me. I stream jazz from radio stations all over the world through ITunes for free. However, I investigated both and Pandora Radio to see if they offered anything different. To my surprise lets you choose your artist by music, video and radio–WOW that was fun. So you can literally listen to whom you like and them only if you want. But, it also recommends simular music and artists to listen to as well. That is a real plus and difference from streaming from a regular radio station because you are forced to listen to artists you might not care about in between the ones you like. I thought Pandora Radio not as exciting. Acually, they did not have the first artist I chose. And, there were not as many options on that site. I will use this at home and on the road via my blackberry. Wait until Joe gets a load of this! It will be Jazz non stop!!

  19. oicurmt Says:

    Thank You 2.1! I’m enjoying some lovely Beethoven while I type—who could have guessed?! Being dubious when I started out, I thought that I’d really give this “thing” a try out and asked for the Chad Mitchell Trio, which reaches W A Y back, and sure enough Pandora had them. Amazing. A feature that is very interesting is the explanation and description of the genre of music requested. I’m learning some stuff!

    So my first impression was good—but then I asked for an obscure Placido Domingo song—and didn’t get it. Also no Manheim Steamroller. Ah well.

    Lots of good about the site though. After a bit of hunting (I’m not very intuitive about what to look for or where) I figured out what to do to get something new, how to mix ’em up and share with others.

    I’m not sure how this can be put to use in a library setting though—think the director would let us pipe it in?

  20. CSmith Says:

    Last FM was really fun to play around with. I like classic country but don’t own a lot of it. There are lots of singers that I’d love to listen to just like a radio station with no commercials! Can clean to it at home. 🙂 As far as the library, I can see using this in a program as background music–classical eg. or for kids’ programs–they have a ton of music from Sesame Street to Disney songs to soundtracks. Bring in a laptop and use for background music or a specific type of song.

  21. ABG Julia's Blog Says:

    I really liked LastFm & being able to hear a whole load of new blues music. I loved listening to a radio station with no ads & with the type of music I like. Pandora also was pretty good. I sent these links to my husband. I guess everyone had fun with these. I would certainly recommend them to customers.

  22. AMartin Says:

  23. Virginia Hyde Says:

    gee, I really liked this. I was able to go to Elvis radio!! great web-site.
    I will use this

  24. InsaneLibraryLady Says:

    LOVED PANDORA !!! I guess now I have to figure out a way to work with the headphones on !! I will be recommending this to all ages of my patrons and I’ll be using at home.

  25. Frogonablog Says:

    I do not listen to music at home or on the radio, however, my hubby who has very particular tastes in music- and likes finding someone a little new or off his beaten track of regulars- was intrigued by Pandora. I will have to road test it on my son while he is home for Thanksgiving and see what he thinks about something like this. I did listen to Maurice’s picks and have decided he is way cool as I have always thought.

  26. HeatherTowers Says:

    I have been a fan of Pandora and last FM for about two years now. I have friends on both sites. Last FM is not as useful as Pandora but it’s a neat little social networking site. I do think Pandora is a wonderfully creative way to learn about new music that is similar to other music you might like. I am not sure about how it could be used in a library system except that you could recommend it to interested patrons.

  27. milt Says:

    Pandora has been one of my favorite sites for awhile now. It’s really great to use if you are trying to listen to some music, but you don’t have your digital collection with you….like when using a public computer. You can save a ton of different stations that are available regardless of what computer you are using. This would be a good site for someone to use to find suggestions about artists that they mave have never heard before in a certain genre of music.

    Last FM is pretty cool site too. It’s best feature is that you can use it as a social networking site to find other listeners that have the same tastes in music as you do. Like Pandora, you can use Last FM to help find other artists that you may be interested in checking out. I know a lot of people that LOVE Last FM, but I just never got into it as much as others.

    If I ever need to stream in some music, I’ll take Pandora over Last FM.

  28. Ann Drake Says:

    I love Pandora! I think I explored this some when I was doing Web 2.0, and enjoyed using it then. I like how easy it is to find artists you are interested in, and the recommended suggestions based on the music that you choose. I found the site easier to use than Last FM, and just prefer the simplicity of use it provides. I am going to continue to use it on my home computer because although I have an ITunes account, not all the songs I love are on my ITunes shuffle.

  29. Etta Place Says:

    I’ve played in Pandora a little before, so I went to Last fm. I watched Boz Scaggs sing “We’re all Alone,” (in Japan) one of my favorite songs. I was lucky to see him in concert over 20 years ago! Then I tried to watch “Georgia” and the quality was awful! So I moved on to Pink Floyd and watched, “Wish you were here,” another of my favorite songs, but I’d never seen it performed before. I always thought it was such a soulfull tribute to Syd. It was fabulous! A friend of mine saw Pink Floyd at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh years ago and they opened up the roof. He said it was incredible!

    In adition to the music, I also enjoyed the bios. I learned some interesting things about my favorite singers. I didn’t know that Boz once sang with Steve Miller. His Silk Degrees album is still one of my favorites. I didn’t know that Syd from Pink Floyd was schitzophrenic either.

    I also tried NPR. I looked around but couldn’y play with the radio as it was being worked on. However, I thought it was neat to see that you could plan a road trip with NPR stations across the country.

    So I listened to Eric Clapton on a Baltimore radio station. ALso love “Slow-hand”! As I write, I am on George Harrison radio. It was a lot of fun to explore and a great resource for our patrons as well as desk dwellers. What a great way to take a break from the work day and block out all the noise and drama!

  30. Gentlewinds Says:

    I really like Pandora! Once I choose a song to match my mood, they continue with similar songs. I also like being able to control which songs are played. Since I really like to listen to music as I work, this site is superb! This site can be used for background music for programming. It will definitely be recommended to customers.

  31. dragonfly27 Says:

    I really enjoyed exploring these sites. I won’t be going back to Last FM as often, because you only get one song from each artist, but I really enjoyed all the suggestions they gave me based on my favorite band, plus a little bio about the band. Pandora is really cool……I like just typing in my favorite band and they play the music continuously. I will probably log into Pandora regularly from my office computer so I can listen to music while I’m working. It’s a great way to get music without having to hunt up a CD.

  32. Regina Spiker Says:


  33. Jeanne Trice Says:

    I really liked Pandora…I could put in any artist that I liked and get similar music that I wasn’t familiar with. Great for background noise, though I’d still rather be reading!

  34. sandyr Says:

    I liked and want to try out Pandora some more. Right now, when I play online music at my desk, I just make the selections manually. I look forward to creating playlists that will just automatically start.

  35. Richard Says:

    Now this was fun! I mostly played with LastFM. I tuned into my favorite guitarist’s station and listened to the eclectic selection offered. This might be a good venue for new bands to play their music. What I didn’t like about this are the moronic comments left by not so serious listeners. I wish there were a way to screen them out and limit the conversations to more advanced students of music.

    I’m a hi-fi enthusiast and the technology just isn’t there yet as far as computers go. When the day comes that my PC or laptop can equal the sound of tube amplification, I will be there!

    O.k. I’m going back to LastFM now.

  36. Sherry Says:

    I’ve enjoyed Pandora on and off for over a year now, although LastFM is new to me. I went into Pandora and updated my profile and added to my artist list; and also started an account with LastFM I have a tendency to be wary of any music sites due to a severe attack of computer virus not long ago, (acute case of computer virophobia), admittedly though they are neat sites to go in and play with. And it is very nice to go in and start your favorite stations, then minimize the screen and get on with your networking, very nice indeed.

  37. AmandaW Says:

    Both Pandora and LastFM seemed really neat. I use internet radio all the time, from home. iLike tells me alot of indy bands that are sound alikes for more popular bands. I also use Yahoo music player which allows me to customize a station where I can choose what I want to hear and even what I never want them to play for me! There are alot of these types of sites out there.

  38. DBennett Says:

    I searched both Pandora and last fm for a couple of artists my boss just told me about, plus some folk musicians. Had no or more limited luck with the folkies. I like these resources and will recommend them to my staff and Arts Council performance bookers. Maurice is right for music lovers, these resources will cause us all to grow our personal music libraries.:)

  39. Janet Says:

    I did enjoy listening to music on Pandora. Some of the oldies were great. It was also good to fine some holiday music that I could e-mail to someone for them to also enjoy. It is just great the different music’s there are in today’s world.

  40. KristinB Says:

    The hardest part of this assignment was trying to find a computer with speakers at work. Because if you can’t hear the music, how do you know if you approve of the choices and Pandora are giving you? I tried out both of these websites, mainly to compare the music selection. I’m a big musical theatre fan, so while I found Pandora slightly restrictive on the account, the first thing I typed into “Jason Robert Brown” (he’s a composer) brought up a Jason Robert Brown Radio Station. So, I was very pleased. Though it is more of a general Broadway station judging from the songs they are playing, though featuring new compositions than classic Broadway tunes. That’s not to say that I didn’t like Pandora, because I found a Billy Joel station that matched my tastes. I like this because it gives you a chance to preview new artists (or new shows) and would be something to recommend to my sister-in-law should Radio Margaritaville go off Sirus Radio. Not to mention just our everyday patrons when our cd collection isn’t good enough (or if they want recommendations for new artists in a genre I’m not familiar with).

  41. Mysterylover Says:

    I just love Pandora. I love the way it finds me songs I might like but am not familiar with. I love the fact that it lets me listen to music of my choice, and it’s all free. This is one of my favorite sites so far.
    And it’s so easy to use!

  42. John Says:

    I have been a fan of pandora for a number of years now. I live in an area that has few choices on the actual radio, so I have been looking for a internet radio device that I can use at home. I haven’t brought myself to pay the $200 yet though. I have my account loaded on work and home machines but after my daughter discovered it at home, I have all these new stations where I am guaranteed to find new music.

  43. Lisamck Says:

    I knew about Pandora and have used it in the past, so I decided to check out Last FM in more depth. I like that I can search for a favorite artist and find music that I can just play at my fingertips. I also liked the comments that users can submit that suggest other artists that they like, and that I might like too. We are starting a new program for teens at a branch and I am thinking this might be a nice way to play some music without investing in a CD collection or relying on local radio stations.

  44. sunshine Says:

    This is the best THING ever! I’m embarrassed to say that I used to use Yahoo Music back in the day. So it’s nice to have a new place like Pandora to listen to all my favs. I love 70’s and contemporary best and this will be a new spot for me to listen and relax.

  45. Michelle Sebly Says:

    LastFM is good.

    Pandora is COOL!!!!

  46. Michelle Sebly Says:

    Both only find artists I already know about though, when I put in Neil Diamond. I already enjoy all the other artists that are similar to Neil.

    Might try Madonna in a minute and see what they come up with.

    Like Pandora much better than FM, it’s amazing! Very user friendly!

  47. Ponyahhn Says:

    I love Pandora! I have had more trouble figuring out how to use lastfm for some reason. I also have had to listen to real radio stations to try and remember some of my favorite songs from years gone by. I like the biographies on lastfm. I have had more trouble playing specific songs that I wanted to hear, but I will enjoy exploring it more!

  48. Mally Says:

    I have been using Pandora for quite awhile. I love Baroque classical music. I put in Johann Sebastian Bach and I get many different composers from his era. I find it very helpful when life is stressful and there are many distractions.

  49. Jeri Says:

    I had fun on Last FM because it prompted me to look up a guitar player from my past due to the social aspect of the site. He’s still a guitar player in the same band! But then – I’m still a librarian 🙂 I didn’t like having the music interrupted when I navigating around the site, though. Pandora is great – I have used this before. They do a nice job of selecting what I might like – I am impressed.

  50. Cecelia Robeson Says:

    I created a couple different radio stations at Pandora based upon the music of some favorite bands. It was fascinating the way the music is analyzed and how other music is chosen for you based upon that analysis. I was exposed to some great new songs and artists. I thought it was interesting that when I tried to create a station based upon a particular song, that song was not played. Evidently their music licenses do not allow them to let you replay or rewind a specific song, or to play a particular song or artist on demand.
    Nevertheless, this was a fun site, one that I spent way too much time exploring. I will enthusiastically recommend it to library patrons and staff.

  51. rosesmom Says:

    I’ve listened to Pandora for quite a while and LastFM was new to me. It’s great! I like how they tempt me with similar artists, groups. Stevie Nicks Radio!! How cool is that! I’m an oldies junkie and have scouted around on the web for other oldies sites. I think I spent too much time on this one but couldn’t help myself. Hey…and thank you for listing stations downstate from where I live (other side of the mountains.) I enjoyed those too.

  52. Pam Says:

    I enjoyed exploring both Pandora and Last FM. I must admit that they were both new to me. How great to know that you can listen to your favorite music without downloading anything. I will pass this on to family and friends and of course patrons interested in music cds.

  53. Carl Emerick Says:…rocks!

  54. lindalu Says:

    It’s been interesting to read the “love it” comments on Pandora. I tried both it and lastfm but find I prefer lastfm. Moving around on the site and getting results that have pleased my ears has seemed easier on lastfm — just more intuitive for me, I guess. I had some oops moments when I was happily listening to Bruce Springsteen but also exploring the site and all of a sudden I had Tom Petty or Shawn Phillips playing — not bad but a surprise, showing I need to practice more — but maybe not at work. . .

    I can see these sites potetially being used to help track down elusive artists and/or songs at the reference desk.

  55. Janice Says:

    Music is always a good thing. I’ve listened to Radio Paradise and Highlander Radio for a long time as well as finding stories on NPR that I might have missed parts of. I looked at Pandora and thought the feature that suggests other artists to listen to was interesting. They also have video clips that could introduce you to someone new. It’s so nice to be able to find your music wherever you’re working.

  56. Maryland Says:

    I came across Pandora during the 23 Things exercise last summer. I still use it since iTunes doesn’t travel between computeres well. I have my iTunes on my personal laptop and had issues when I moved it there from our previous PC. I like Pandora because I can select styles of music and similar artists that I may not have ever listened to if I had to buy their work “unheard”. The one draw back I have found is that you can only reject their “selections” a couple times in a timeframe before you’re told that you have to listen to what they tell you to listen too! That’s the point I usually shut it down.

  57. foxyswim Says:

    I’ve been hearing about Pandora from all my friends, but I’ve actually never gone to the website until now. I think it’s really interesting how online music has progressed. It’s amazing how only a few years ago we use to have to write down the song title from music we’ve heard on the radio so that we can go home and look it and download it online. Nowadays, we can not only look up our songs of choice online, but we can how branch out to other artists and bands who have similar sound to our favorites. It really opens up the world of music and lets us experience music we may never have come across. Music is a great way to spread ideas and open up people’s minds to different kinds of culture. We are so lucky to have so many outlets to obtain it.

  58. Accidental Librarian Says:

    Well, I really took my time exploring these sites. I even went on to items 9 and 10 so that I could more thoroughly explore these music sites before coming to any conclusions. I also was interested in finding their usefulness to our customers. One idea I had was to use these sites for children whose project about a specific country calls for them to find and play for their class a folk song or two from that country. Unfortunately, neither of these sites play “on demand” song requests and I was not able to find much in the way of traditional folk music from specific countries. I really like Pandora and I took note that they pay a licensing fee for the music offered which is important to me. Lastfm also pays for the music it plays. I just did not find it as helpful in finding nwe music as I found Pandora.

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