Now joining last.fm is a new service, Pandora, which supplements revenue from affiliations with Amazon and Apple with a very reasonable subscription fee ($36/year, $12/quarter). The interface works better for me but that’s mostly because they’ve simplified the number options they make available. Unlike Last.fm, you cannot tag your music collection nor does it monitor what music you play to adjust your profile which is what I find so fascinating about last.fm.
Last weekend I had friends over for dinner and had last.fm’s “vocal jazz” tag streaming all night long and we were constantly surprised with the things passed our way – Judy Garland, rare Louis Armstrong, the occasional spoken word rap, all like rare cheeses on a silver platter.
Last.fm is worth it if you invest the time to manage your profile and feed the ecosystem – Pandora is more for the person that wants to boot up, login, and start listening right away.
One point in Pandora’s favor – they have a Movable Type blog so they can post on their plans for the future.