Five alternatives to Spotify

Spotify, the application that lets you stream almost any music you can think of, free, is obviously a pretty popular application. I don’t like it! It doesn’t have everything I own, so won’t replace my hard drive collection, the advertisements aren’t targeted and are pretty horrible. Worse, no matter how much stuff I listen to the front page always has music I will hate on it. Spotify just doesn’t get me, and doesn’t seem to be trying. Sorry for being rude, but that strikes me as a bit web 1.0.

Here are some alternative ways to get aural satisfaction from the internet:

The daddy of social music sites, and despite being sold to an evil corporation it’s still pretty cool. Last.fm has a large user community, recommendations based on your listening history and concert listings. It records your iTunes activity, and builds a profile of your tastes, and you can listen to Last.fm radio stations based on genre, similar artists or the stations of other users. There’s  less control than Spotify, but you will hear new music you might like.

Similar in some respects to Last.fm, in that you can listen to generated radio stations based on genre. You can also build and save playlists. Deezer‘s interface is really intuitive, and not a million miles away from iTunes, so you’ll feel right at home. It even has an equalizer! They have a good sized library, but Spotify seems bigger.

This is very different. The Hype Machine collects music that is being blogged about. You can play all the music in their site, and if you have an account and “love” tracks, you can build a playlist of music and artists you like. It’s fantastic for hearing brand new music, and keeping up with what’s hot! It features Last.fm synchronization too, so you can scrobble all the cool new tracks you’re listening to.

This internet jukebox lets you search and listen to music, using YouTube.com and imeem as its library. With a songza account you can build a playlist, but other than that it’s pretty basic. As it uses YouTube as a source, the library is huge, although the quality varies a lot.

Similar to Last.fm, imeem has lots of social features, like twittering tracks you like, and sharing and creating playlists. Personally I think Last.fm is a nicer site, but it’s probably just a matter of personal taste!

This barely scratches the surface of web based listening. What are you favorites?

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