I played a bit more with music discovery services. LivePlasma lets you explore the galaxy of music. Starting from one artist you can see all similar artists, with more similar artists closer to each other, and more popular (I guess) artists represented by bigger planets. The interface is really wonderful, unfortunately their library is rather smallish (come on, no Vanilla Ninja again, is it some kind of RIAA conspiracy ?).
So I tried to use it together with Pandora. 4 Strings was a big planet close to Sylver, so I tried making a 4 Strings radio on Pandora. It worked quite well. Some of the music was to be expected stuff like Lasgo, Ian Van Dahl, Milk Inc., but pretty quickly it also found cool music that I had no idea about, like Reina, Theresa Owens, Denny Tsettos, and loads of artists I would have never known about. So count me as sold ;-)
The funniest things are the explanations. It seems that the best predictors of the kind of music I like are disco influences and romantic lyrics. /me totally blushes :-D.
So the ideal discovery music service would have:
- Big library, personalized charts and music player integration like last.fm
- Streaming radio and explanations of musical taste like Pandora
- Artistic neighbourhood exploration like LivePlasma
- Integrated P2P like the late AudioGalaxy ! Mostly for listening to the music on an MP3 player, "owning" music is so 1980s after all. Well, or at least some sort of streaming to MP3 player hack, it can probably be done legally enough somehow.