Last.fm vs. Grooveshark vs. Spotify vs. ?

Eddie Braverman's picture
Rank: The Pro | 21,212

The Skullcandy IPO is set for launch tomorrow (proposed symbol: SKUL), and by all measures it appears to be an in-demand issue which should do well, at least initially. I had a cheap set of Skullcandy earbuds once, but I didn't like them. That's not a reflection on the company, more a commentary on my oddly-shaped ear canals. But I think the company is smart to strike while the iron is hot, and they may even increase their proposed issue price before tomorrow.

What I'm curious about is the music service you guys most prefer. Spending hours at a time compiling pitchbooks and spreading comps would be even worse without tunes, so I figure you guys are plugged into the best services out there.

I got tipped off to Last.fm by Fred Wilson over at AVC, but I know for a fact that I'm doing it wrong. My primary aim is to find new music that I like, but I don't engage the social aspects of Last.fm so I know I'm missing out on a bunch of stuff. Another problem with Last.fm is that you have to know what you're in the mood for before you start listening, and I don't think the service has ever surprised me. It mostly plays stuff I already own (because it "scrobbles" your collection) or stuff that is extremely similar to it.

I actually like Grooveshark a lot better for finding new stuff to listen to. But it's a double-edged sword. For every great new band I find like Sevendust (new to me, anyway), it seems like I pay for it by getting a f**king Britney Spears song stuck in my head.

Then there's Spotify. Spotify has been all the rage here in Europe for at least the last two years, and it recently went live in the U.S. I have to confess that I've never tried it. From what I understand, it's a lot like Grooveshark (or the other way around) and people love it.

So what I'm hoping you guys can tell me is which music service works the best for finding new tunes and playing your favorites, because the $3 a month I'm paying for Last.fm is starting to keep me awake at night. What are you cube monkeys jamming at work? Is there a music service I'm missing? And how many of you are rocking Skullcandy gear? Is that a company that's going to work?

Comments (14)

Jul 19, 2011

Spotify is the shit, havent even touched itunes in the last year since ive gotten it. Even thinking of upgrading for the ad free version.

Jul 19, 2011

I had been using Grooveshark extensively, but started to get annoyed with it, so I am waiting for my Spotify invite to show up(signed up late last week), heard much better feedback on its capabilities

Jul 19, 2011

I use The Hype Machine pretty much exclusively, and have so for a few years - http://hypem.com/
A lot of the music is electronic (especially on the "Popular" tab) but they've got tons of other stuff as well. You can create one playlist of your favorite songs which is nice, and the site updates with new songs all the time. I'll occasionally browse to find new music that I like, but if you want something a bit less interactive, find users whose taste you like and just follow them. When you click the "My Friends" tab, all the songs that all your friends have "Loved" will pop up and you can go through to listen to them.

Oh, and the other nice part is that all the songs on the site are posted from blogs, so most of the time you can click straight through to the blog to download the MP3.

I used Grooveshark a little bit but it was always really slow and would pause for 5 minutes or so in between songs occasionally. Maybe my computer just sucks, but that was my experience with it.

Jul 19, 2011

I second Hype Machine. Yes, it's slightly more electronic orientated, but it's perfect IMO for banking, especially when you're cranking through those late nights.

I was just about to check out Spotifty until I realized my bank blocked it...wtf?

Speaking of Skull Candy though, I'm not a big fan. I bought a pair of their earbuds a while back which broke in like half a year (left ear stopped working). It was still under warranty so they sent me a new pair as a replacement. A couple months in, same problem except with the right ear.

Jul 19, 2011

Last.fm? I never really figured out what that was. Is it a website? What is a ".fm"? I think maybe I do recall visiting last.fm, and finding that you can listen to 30-second clips at a time. I was very annoyed.

I listen to pandora or if I want to hear a specific song, I'll put it up on Youtube. Grooveshark is actually slower than Youtube, which seems incredibly stupid to me, because the bandwidth sucked up by the video has to be much more.

Jul 19, 2011

beats by dre > skullcandy

"I respect your courage for coming this far alone! However, you are still going to die!"

Jul 19, 2011
Lubu:

beats by dre > skullcandy

I would hope that overpaying for headphones "by" someone who hasn't put out anything good in years would be better than shit that costs 20 times less.

Spotify is better than the other two as far as I'm concerned but I'm still okay with Pandora.

Jul 27, 2011
whatwhatwhat:
Lubu:

beats by dre > skullcandy

I would hope that overpaying for headphones "by" someone who hasn't put out anything good in years would be better than shit that costs 20 times less.

Spotify is better than the other two as far as I'm concerned but I'm still okay with Pandora.

I've owned both, and Beats by Dre so far beats skull candy by a mile wide in terms of quality. Overpaying? Perhaps. But this isn't exactly paying for overvalued stocks. This is paying for a good that will inevitably depreciate towards a salvage value of zero. So it's a matter of utility and consumer preference, and its perfectly within my prerogative to "overpay", provided that I have the funds to do so, which I do.

And Dre has put out great production over the years, he never really left if you think about it. If you're a fan of Eminem, most of his entire catalogue was done by Dre, many of them are classics imo. His recent materials purported to be for the Detox albums are also pretty good.

"I respect your courage for coming this far alone! However, you are still going to die!"

Jul 19, 2011

I just got Spotify a few days ago (thanks to Klout.com) and its a pretty promising platform. Its basically an iTunes substitute, but honestly, I've always hated iTunes because its so difficult to manage over a range of devices (my family has 12,000 songs, 10 ipods, iphone, ipad, three computers, plus an android phone. trying to share music over all these platforms is a nightmare). Spotify might solve this problem for myself, at least. I can make a playlist of songs from their library and have it anywhere (although I have to pay to access it on a mobile phone). Being able to update an iPad or Android phone through wi-fi is cool as well. I've never tried last.fm or grooveshark. Its exciting that we will eventually move to a model where all your music and playlists will be accessible from every device, and these services will provide interesting platforms to share and find new music.

I wonder how long away we are from computers writing music for us on the spot

Jul 19, 2011

I have only used Last.fm of those. I listen to ambient on it, and it does an excellent job of selecting amazing ambient composers. It definitely is not as good as Pandora when it comes to new music though.

If you try to search for main stream music on Last.fm, you're going to be in for a surprise (sometimes pleasant, other times not). Last.fm is like fine wine or whiskey, it gets better with age. The more you use it (and "love" or "ban" music), the more it's going to know exactly what you like while at the same time intelligently suggesting new songs. But if you just want to hear the new music from Lil Wayne, Usher, etc. you're going to end up listing to Big Papa from the 90s and maybe even some mashups.

So, Last.fm is definitely good if you know what kind of music you like and are willing to listen through the sh** to refine your listening preference.

Jul 20, 2011

Honestly, I do it the (relatively) old-school way: amazon recommendations. They're getting crazy good at them. I actually really like cycling through the playlists of 30-second samples and put them on loop--it's a pretty cool way to check out a lot of differentt hings over a short period of time. You'd be amazed at what you wind up with.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Jul 20, 2011

Spotify! I used a UK server to get it before it came to the US and haven't looked back. Beats the pants off iTunes.

Jul 27, 2011

I haven't opened my iTunes since I got Spotify last week. Great to sample new music, but if you want it recommended to you, I still like Pandora.

Jul 27, 2011
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