The original version of Yahoo’s Launch (or LaunchCast radio) still has no equal. I was so disappointed when they terminated their pay service and switched to the new model. Now I’m stuck with Pandora and Spotify. Each of those products has their benefits, but what really made Launch was its method of rating songs and artists.
With Launch, I could rate a song or artist on a 10-point scale, thereby giving weight to my ratings. If I liked U2, but only a little, I could assign them a 5 or 6 and they’d get played less than an artist I assigned a 10 to. If I didn’t like an artist, I could rate it low or tell it not to play. The system also chose music based on what other people with similar tastes liked. So if I liked Depeche Mode, it looked at what other people who liked Depeche Mode liked, and played me some of that, exposing me to a wider variety of music. You were much more likely to hear something new that you actually liked.
It was a more accurate way to match my preferences than Pandora’s Genome Project. Pandora matches on styles. So if I liked a song with jangly guitars, it would find me other songs with jangly guitars. That is no way to find satisfactory matches. Additionally, I have no recourse if it decides to over-play a song or artist. There is a set of songs I hear literally every day, and there is nothing I can do about it other than ban the songs. Even if I tell it I’m tired of the song, it’ll be back in full force in a month. Likewise, it gets fixated on an artist, and even though I like that artist, I really don’t want to hear them two or three times an hour, and there’s no way to fix it.
Spotify is useless unless you already know what you want to hear. That’s good when you remember “that song” and want to hear it, but bad when you want to discover something new.
So I am on a quest to find a new music service. One that is also iPhone-friendly.