Pandora vs. Last.Fm

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Difference between Pandora and Last.Fm

The age of Internet music is upon us and has been for quite some time. It is now possible to listen to your favorite music with no more effort than clicking a link on your browser. The whole universe of music, it would seem, is now within easy reach and a number of websites have proven to be particularly popular. Among these are Pandora and Last.Fm, both of which have garnered a hefty share of the online audience. Which one of these music services is better? Let's take a look!

Pandora
Last.Fm

Profile

Pandora bills itself as a music recommendation site and an Internet radio service. It was established by the Music Genome Project and it allows users to simply type in a song or an artist that they like, after which they will be presented with a selection of songs that are similar.

Last.fm follows a similar model in that searched songs or artists will cause the site to present other music in a similar vein. Last.Fm was founded in the United Kingdom and its owners currently claim an audience of more than 21 million people in over 200 countries. Last.Fm was acquired by CBS Interactive in 2007 for £140m.

The Premise

As mentioned previously, both Pandora and Last.Fm present users with a selection of songs that the software algorithm “thinks” the user may like, based on his or her search selections. However, there is a difference in the way the two services arrive at their conclusions, with Pandora utilizing a program which bases its suggestions on similarities with regard to the style of music and the harmonies. Last.fm, on the other hand, bases its selection on information pertaining to what else other people who perform the same search listened to as well.

The Verdict

While both Pandora and Last.Fm work pretty well on the whole, Last.Fm seems to have the edge in being able to "guess" what the user wants to hear. This is probably because the Last.Fm engine takes into account everything that the user listens to even on other sites by way of its “Scrobbler” application. Pandora seems to obtain its information only from user selections within the Pandora site. That being said, Pandora

does have a slightly better interface with excellent implementations for the iPad and iPhone. At present, Last.fm does not have a full-blown iPad application as yet and its iPhone app leaves a bit to be desired.

Similarities and Differences

Pandora

  • Has excellent iPhone and iPad applications
  • Better user interface than Last.Fm
  • Selections are drawn from a fairly limited source

Last.Fm

  • Has a broader range of user information to make suggestions from
  • Does not have a full iPad application yet
  • iPhone application is a bit underdeveloped

Which music website is better?
  • Pandora
  • Last.Fm
 
 

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