I’ve been digging into all the new iPhone apps I can get my hands on (mostly free apps, although I have grabbed a few for $$$) and I have some observations about the clear winners out there that every iPhone owner should have on his/her phone, as well as what you should avoid. So, I’m going to do a series of posts highlighting my favorites and underscoring why they should be your favorites too.
First up: Pandora—Pandora, in case you didn’t know, is an absolutely free internet radio service by the Music Genome Project that makes recommendations for you based on other songs and musicians that you like. As it selects and plays songs for you, you can give them a thumbs up or thumbs down and it remembers and learns from your choices and suggests more music over time that is more focused on what you’ve liked before. It’s like your music snob friend who is always recommending a band that you absolutely must listen to, but sans all the snobbishness and with very few instances of horrible recommendations over time. It’s music discovery and it’s catered to your tastes. It’s a great service which I have never ever used. At least, not until I got the Pandora iPhone App. What’s great about the iPhone App is that it works wherever I am. It works over EDGE or WiFi. It made my 4GB iPhone capable of much more music than when I bought it. Today, at the beach, I created a radio station for M.I.A. and received a stream of 3 hours of free music, commercial free; I liked all but 3 of the songs in that time and over 50% of the music I heard was new to me. Pandora app for the iPhone is free, just like the Pandora service. That’s pure win.
An alternative is the Last.fm app on the iPhone. Friends of mine swear by Last.fm’s service, however, Last.fm on my iPhone has had lag loading every song. Pandora has worked seamlessly. AOL Radio on the iPhone is also nice, but it’s just streaming radio, not catered, recommended radio.