7 Alternatives to Pandora and Last.FM

on Oct 12, 2010 in Other by Nick | 136 Comments »

Whether you are annoyed by the ads on Pandora, the limited number of skips, or the abyss of cruel 30-second song teasers from Last.FM, many online listeners are growing weary of mainstream methods of hearing new music. While the Pandora algorithm is strong, and the Last.FM related artists tool is pretty useful, don’t fool yourself in to thinking that there aren’t other great ways to expose yourself to new music in the depths of cyberspace.

Here are 7 alternatives to Pandora and Last.FM that will infuse your day with an uninterrupted stream of music that large record companies haven’t managed to squash under their thumbs yet.



StumbleAudio has a killer recommendation engine that works better for me than Pandora’s. Instead of “genomes”, StumbleAudio uses listeners’ favoritism as well as buying pattern data from online music stores to make suggestions. Even better, for every track that comes

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up in the player, you can choose to explore the entire album – a great feature for music snobs. Unlike Pandora, a listener can choose very specific genres in which to listen – within the ‘Blues’ category alone there are 14 sub-types. No skip limit, at least not that I’ve ever reached and I’m notorious for flying through my Pandora skip limit.



Songza uses a recommendation engine that runs for each ‘channel’, but unlike Pandora, channels are not tied to specific listeners and rather are community property. Anyone can listen to anyone’s station and add suggestions for tracks or artists that belong there. Powered by the Emergent Discovery recommendation engine, Songza is in beta version and makes streaming music a very community-based activity – this is bound to gain a strong footing in the music community during this social networking renaissance we are all living in.



Elegantly, Musicovery boils down songs to a location on two scales: Energetic-Calm and Positive-Dark. These attributes may be more meaningful in targeting music for a listener’s mood than the hundreds of music genomes that Pandora uses. When you click a location on an X-Y graph of these two scales that fits your mood, Musicovery builds a playlist. Complimented by the ability to disable “hits” and a decent recommendation algorithm, the only limitation here is that you’ll need a paid account to skip songs.



Ah, the power of the ‘tag cloud’. Stereomood crawls the music blog scene and extracts any posts with an embedded .MP3 file as well as associated tags. Users can select channels based on their mood or activity. Chillout, beautiful, melancholy, calm, dreamy, happy, summer, sad, electronic, ambient, cool, and sexy are among the dozens of popular tags that users can select which spurs an ongoing playlist of tunes that fit the listener’s mood. Of course, users can suggest new tags and improve the database, making this a very groovy place to lurk on the web.



If you are in the mood for a personalized gift from an anonymous friend, you can find a slew of carefully hand-crafted mix tapes ready to listen to on 8tracks (over 100,000 currently). Based on user uploads, you can find mix tapes for every occasion, from the simple to the bizarre. With a pretty decent tag engine and a deep collection of B-sides, there only two limitations: your imagination and the number of skips (though the point of a mix tape is not to skip, have some respect, son).



Supported by millions of user uploads, Grooveshark is an online music player without limitations and virtually every song you could ever want to hear. It is the only service on this list which has the capability to play a specific song of your choosing, free from the confines of DMCA licensing and recommendations. Between its extensive library, its radio stations and its limitless playback, if you have a song in mind that you need to hear, drop the YouTube music in the dumpster and stumble over to Grooveshark.

The Hype Machine

Similar to Stereomood, The Hype Machine is a blog-crawling service that finds new music in the music blogging community, but in contrast, THM is focused around the writing rather than just listening alone. THM is a giant catalog of high-quality music blogs that also aggregates embedded music from its sources directly on the site, so you can crawl around for hours of listening and reading about your favorite artists, concert and album reviews and emerging talent without ever leaving the site; a great alternative to the feverish Wikipedia crawler who happens to be a music snob.


Final thought: Life is too short to listen to cruddy music – especially with all of these ways to find new material. Go enhance your snobbery, my pretentious loyal subjects!

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136 Responses to "7 Alternatives to Pandora and Last.FM"

  1. avatar really says:

    You need to go on grooveshark.com..

  2. avatar Valter Rodrigues says:

    Visite radionomy.com

  3. I love hypem.com you can find a lot of stuff on there, and like you said, the writing quality is also good so keeps me entertained!

  4. avatar thoughts13 says:

    Jamendo.com is perfect if you want free music under the CC licence. but these are nice too

  5. avatar Spotifyblog says:

    Hey Guys

    Good list, but hey: No Spotify???

    Spotifyblog Netherlands

    • avatar TomRaaff says:

      Maybe because Spotify doesn’t actually recommend you anything. Even though the program is perfect if you want to check something/someone out.

      • avatar Me says:

        AFAIK Grooveshark also does not recommend you anything. I haven’t found such a function anyway, and I’ve been using it heavily for the last few weeks. IMO Grooveshark is better than Spotify since you can listen to a limitless amount of music without (audio) ads and for free. And if you have an account you can also create your own playlists. I wouldn’t mind knowing why Spotify has such a huge following actually (most of my facebook friends are based in Norway and the Netherlands, and it is pretty huge there).

        • avatar Becca says:

          Grooveshark does suggest music to you based on whats already in your playlist if you click the radio button and dont dictate a genre.

        • avatar OG says:

          The main reason I love Spotify, is that I can use it on my Cell, and basicly have all the music I wan`t all the time.
          I do pay around $15 a month though, but hey! the utopia of free music is for kids really 🙂

  6. avatar Off-key says:

    Don’t forget about music.yandex.ru

  7. avatar Reuben says:


  8. avatar maya says:


  9. avatar katie says:

    jango.com 🙂

  10. avatar Jaye says:


    Makes listening to music more like a video game, with bonuses and quests and rewards. Also, most of the music is indie and available under CC licenses or inexpensively.

  11. avatar AUPEO! Team says:

    Hello Nick!
    Looks like you’d love AUPEO!

    Have a listen now!

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  12. avatar Ike says:

    Nothing compares to the Music Map. No, you can’t hear the music, but you can easily find something you will love based on what you like.

  13. avatar isaac says:

    you should visit playlist.com

  14. avatar Kelly says:

    spotify is the best i’ve ever used and i’ve used most. problem is it’s not available for the U.S. if you have any friends residing outside the U.S., have them make an account and give you the information. may be a hassle, but well worth it.

  15. avatar Anna Z says:

    I know some of these but I am going to check the rest of them out. The main place I listen to music is at blip.fm. I love it!

  16. avatar bob says:

    i miss anywhere.fm

  17. avatar Interkulti says:

    For those of u who love quality world music, ethno jazz, afro funk, arab and turkish fusion, latin and mediterranean or spiritual indian music u should check radio interkulti at http://interkulti.net/index.php/world-music-radio

    will not regret it…promise.

  18. avatar Beatkat says:

    Check out somafm.com- eclectic-cool-unique-good list thanks

  19. avatar Kyriakos says:

    grooveshark.com is very good

  20. avatar Cyreno says:

    You guys should try slacker.com too. For radio, RadioSure and RadioTime are the best in the world. And the best of the best is AudioGalaxy, you can listen all the songs you have in your computer at home, in any computer, anywhere, simply awesome. Enjoy music!

  21. avatar jwolfe says:

    grooveshark is the sh**

  22. No good opera plot can be sensible:… people do not sing when they are feeling sensible. ~W.H. Auden, Time, 29 December 1961

  23. avatar Chris says:

    Damn StumbleAudio is crap music!

  24. avatar Jon says:

    Definitely correct on the Last.FM bullsh**.

    I stopped using it after seeing the multitudes of incomplete songs along with other “impostors” listed in the “favorited near you” list…People like me that were fooled into thinking that was the real song.

  25. avatar Io-Hann says:

    Jango is the best. In addittion to finding the best artist and gendres you can also discover new upcoming artist. Very good new artists.

  26. avatar macrohard says:

    I also like surfing on thesixtyone.com it has a lovely graphic enviroment, nice tunes from breakin through artists and a nice social network.

  27. avatar macrohard says:

    The thing that pisses me about last fm is that I never charged a single cent when they were building their data base, I think all of us allowd lastfm to spy on our hard drives so it could grow that enormous data base and then it started to charge for the service we all helped to build.

  28. avatar Liz says:

    Grooveshark gave me a horrible virus that forced me to reformat my >12 month old laptop and now it doesn’t work the same. It was a freak thing but I’ve seen others say the same on other forums.

  29. avatar Wather says:

    Stumble upon changes my life !

  30. avatar william foster says:

    blip.fm is another

  31. avatar june says:


  32. avatar Julian says:

    Check out Public Records — an online networking tool for musicians that makes their data go to work for them. Coming this May.

    twitter: @publicrcrds

  33. avatar carlo says:

    try awdio.com
    its an international dj website..a bit diff than the radios on here but still awesome

    check it out!!

  34. avatar Tristan says:

    Try filtermusic.net – it’s a collection of tons of internet radio stations.

  35. avatar Kamil says:

    I would suggest one more website: http://x-musics.com/, where I found a lot of free songs with ability to listen them online, download for free for test purpose, or buy on iTunes and Amazon.(http://x-musics.com/)

  36. avatar Heidi says:


  37. avatar dudeman says:

    I still think last.fm is the best. You really do need to subscribe to get any decent use out of it, but $3 a month (you can stop any time) is really not that much.

    • avatar JBeck1964 says:

      After they took away the playlist feature it became not worth even $3. Anything useful on the site is available for free.

  38. avatar nate says:

    I cant believe you didnt mention JANGO.com, which i love

  39. avatar Tom says:

    What about shuffleer easy to use google chrome ext that gives you a list of genres to choose from and it trawls through blogs and sites to find good msuic for you– check it out

  40. avatar T-REZ says:

    8tracks.com is WONDERFUL!

  41. avatar Morgan says:

    8tracks sucks…

  42. avatar kaye says:

    wow ganda

  43. avatar cosplay says:

    still awesome

  44. avatar Mike says:

    Problem with most of these is if you listen to anything really underground you’re screwed. Last.fm has recommended me so many independent, under the radar artists that are awesome but I can never find anything else about these artists from the sites listed above. Overall the sites are useful for what they’re intended for so I can’t bash any of them. Good stuff.

  45. avatar TopherG says:

    How is Last.fm not on this list… also, check out tuberadio.com

  46. avatar yumm says:

    Dude. Wearehunted.com

    Top 99 emergent songs….fantastic.

  47. avatar ВАСЯ!!! says:



  48. avatar chelsss says:

    check out thesixtyone.com it’s WAY better than half of these sites.

  49. avatar Stock says:

    http://www.vinylpenetration.com has an app that is strictly house, dubstep, and electro music. Its amazing

  50. avatar Pablo El'dedo says:

    Nah, I’m good with last.fm, thank you very much.

    I don’t use last.fm to listen to new music, I use it as a record of what I’m listening to. Therefore I wasn’t upset when they limited the previews or whatever it was they did.

    Besides, I have Spotify unlimited. So suck it.

  51. avatar Daniel says:

    Fantastic list!

  52. avatar joe says:


  53. avatar Shane says:

    There is a site in development right now called BEATPLAY that is going to be a great tool for independent artists to showcase their music for free. It’s a great way to gain exposure and fans without selling your soul to a record label. Check out beatplay.wordpress.com right now for news on up-and-coming artists and the development of the actual site. BEATPLAY, IT’S GOING TO BE REAL GOOD…ON THE REAL.

  54. avatar Caitlin says:

    Everyone should try out Jukesy.com

  55. avatar Can says:

    My favourite one is Songza..really usable for me..

  56. avatar Jones says:

    I checked out stumpleaudio and found some new pretty good bands, but I’ll stick with Grooveshark for now. Personally I think it’s superior to any of the other on the list.

  57. avatar sinohorloge says:

    My favourite one is Songza..really usable for me.. Replica Bell&Ross 46MM

  58. avatar HH says:

    to be honest if your into happyharhcore than http://www.happyhardcore.com/radio/ will be your god. youd end up downdloading more then your HDD can handle if you know what I mean 😛

  59. avatar Scott says:

    Hey everyone, go ahead and listen and upload on grooveshark.com, you become 100% liable if they ever go to court over it.



    Have fun getting sued like Jammie Thomas.

  60. avatar Craig says:

    mole holes
    by Chris Sowa

    oh, to be a cosmic mole
    in and out of planck-sized holes
    experiencing all as whole
    trying to preserve one’s soul

  61. avatar Gabriel says:

    You forgot to add Playlist.com, where it isn’t even required for you to register and you can stream any song you want.

  62. avatar Gabriel says:

    You forgot to mention to add Playlist.com, where it isn’t even required for you to register and you can stream any song you want.

  63. avatar jojo says:

    get these on the squeezebox menu

  64. avatar Dwayno says:

    You forgot Jango.

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  66. avatar Randy Hawks says:

    http://radiotuna.com/ gives you the freedom to choose genre and search an unlimited number of radio stations

  67. avatar Randy Hawks says:

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  68. avatar JPS23 says:

    Nice list here. I haven’t heard of most of them but tried Groove Shark a while back. It’s quite an easy site to use and there are plenty of songs to choose from. Have to try the rest sometime!

  69. avatar Zark says:

    hitlantis.com for unsigned talents. Lots of great finds there.

  70. avatar GK says:

    bravo… is amazing list for radio!

  71. avatar Kevin McGuire says:

    Download Spotify! It is available in the u.s now & it has recommendations/similar artists/top songs/artists bio/playlists all integrated into their downloadable program with an easy to use interface & did I mention its free…

  72. A good music website, in my opinion, is one that has EVERYTHING, and that includes my music. I’ve checked every website, the only two that are worth the time are 8tracks and Grooveshark.

  73. Fantastic blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!

  74. avatar Sashs says:

    Um what about Jango.com

    • avatar Dave says:

      Why do so many people say Jango isn’t mentioned in the replies? There are plenty of replies that mention Jango. It is probably the most referenced site in all of the replies.

  75. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any ways to help reduce content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.

  76. avatar who cares says:

    pick whatever omg amazing

  77. avatar Aytek says:

    en.ciyuu.com is super site. no commerce and great work

  78. avatar Farrah says:

    Although it’s a branch of Last.fm,
    a good site to find through music is through Turntable.fm

    You can search through rooms of different genres, be a DJ and play your own music, and talk with people within your rooms, or you can make a room of your own.
    It’s sounds kind of dumb at first, but if you get some friends together, it’s actually pretty fun.

  79. avatar yeahyeahartstuff says:

    in the Songza description you say we are in a renaissance of social media.. btw means “rebirth” and to my knowledge social media is fairly new, therefore making this a genesis or revolution. Sorry to be the jerk that pointed that out.

  80. avatar Eugenio says:

    I’m an academic researcher in the music recommendation field, this is the project I’m working on:
    it’s the first alpha of a new recommendation radio, at the moment you can use it for free, without advertising.

    I would be glad to have some feedback.

  81. avatar Billy says:

    How about one of the original sites…. live365.com been around since the late 90’s

  82. avatar shailendra vyas says:

    thanks for friends

  83. avatar Jason says:

    Might also want to check out http://www.indieshuffle.com — functions a lot like Pandora (creates a playlist for you).

  84. avatar carson says:

    Look at MyFiveStarMusic.com I find great music and i’m always updating. Its farely new and I’m trying to get it off the ground. Please check it out. Thanks

  85. avatar Rudy says:

    I like the idea of these, but I personally like listening to online radio stations. It just takes away the need to look for music. Just set it, and leave it in the background.

    I stumbled to this site http://www.shadeoforange.com

  86. avatar Mike says:

    Longtime Pandora fan, but as pointed out, it’s vastly outpaced by other services in terms of content. Currently subscribed to MOG which is pretty awesome, but a work in progress in some areas. For example, you still can’t ban/dislike artist, albums or tracks in radio mode (You can skip to your heart’s content, but who wants to do that all day?)

    Many of you are only interested in free services. I checked out Jango based on recommendations here and agree it’s probably one of the best. Sound quality is not bad either. For a brief while it almost seemed like a challenger to MOG! But then I searched Jango for some favorite artists discovered on MOG and came up empty. No Kevin Hearn? No Jonathan Wilson? No Lotus Plaza?? You guys are missing some really good music!

  87. avatar here says:

    I experimented with looking at your site with my ipod touch and the layout doesnt seem to be right. Might want to check it out on WAP as well as it seems most cellular phone layouts are not really working with your website.

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  89. avatar twinoganza says:

    Help fund my independent music @ http://kck.st/NDdpVM

  90. avatar Clark says:

    Hey, good job on the blog. I just heard an awesome new dubstep track. It’s my favorite these days. Give it a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwz9IaWJF9o

  91. avatar Broth3r says:

    This website just introduced me to a few awesome bands in a few minutes.

  92. avatar haqy says:

    You forgot the best site: fizzy.com

  93. avatar hypetree says:

    You forgot hypetree.com, it’s new and it just on finding independent music. I use it when i’m sick of pandora repeating songs

  94. I often use last.fm to listen to new music. But you don’t mention the good website.

  95. avatar Jason Martinez says:

    I’ve been digging this free radio site called InfiniteScan. It’s super simple, you get there and it starts playing music. You can scan to a new random station, save favorites and it’s ad free and unlimited. Pretty rad if you ask me, they have an interesting mix of stations from all over the world too, if you’re particular 🙂


  96. avatar Joseph says:

    audioheart.tv uses youtube to suggest music videos.

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What is Mystery Tricycle?

Mystery Tricycle has better taste in music than you do, but have no fear: we are here to lift you from your fog of pathetic attempts at musical enlightenment. Based in Pittsburgh and broadcasting to the world, our mission is to expand your musical horizon as pretentiously as possible.

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