I’ve been using the new LaunchCast Radio service from Yahoo for a few weeks now. It’s pretty cool.First off, it’s free. You have to listen to an ad every few songs, but they’re not too intrusive.
For every song it plays, you can rate the song, the artist, and the album on a scale from “Never play this again” to “Can’t get enough.” The system uses your ratings to decide which songs to play for you. Songs and artists you’ve rated highly will be played more often. Plus, it’ll compare your ratings to other users’ and play songs that are highly rated by people who rated things similarly to you.
The quality isn’t too bad, you can skip songs you don’t like, and there are no banner ads. You do have to log in to Yahoo to use it, so they probably use your ratings to focus advertising on the rest of the site, but who cares? If you feel like you haven’t given enough money to the recording industry, you can subscribe to this service to get higher quality sound, no ads, and unlimited skipping (skipping a song pauses the play for thirty seconds in the free version).
This is a pretty good service, and I almost don’t miss the fact that I can’t just play a certain song if I want to. The only bad part is that this is really a promotion to sell CDs, so you’ll only hear relatively mainstream music that you can buy in stores. But it’s FREE, and it’s nice to have some music when I’m in the lab.