What do they say it is?
Social Internet Radio — Personal radio that learns from your taste and connects you to others who like what you like. Jango is all about making online music social, fun and simple. Just type in what you want to hear – and they’ll play your chosen music and other favorites of Jango users who share your taste. You can customize your stations further by adding more artists and rating songs.
As you listen, your player will show other people listening to the same artist. You can “tune in” to the songs they’re listening to, chat or share your music with friends.
What do we say it is?
Last.fm, only with a couple of things that don’t work quite as well.
What’s great about it?
That whole thing about seeing who else is listening to the track you’re currently hearing is pretty cool. That said, my tastes seem a little off the beaten track for it to work with it still in private beta.
The Music Discovery Control lets you decide how broadly it interprets your tastes in relation to the music you’ve started with (‘popular favourites’, ‘wide variety’ or a ‘happy medium’). That’s a nice addition.
What could be better?
Make it easy and obvious for record labels and independent artists to upload their content and say who it’s similar to, so that listeners can be exposed to an increasingly wide variety of music that they might get to hear, like and possibly buy.
The radio player itself, like Pandora, is embedded in the page. If you inadvertently navigate to anything else, the music stops abruptly, which seems a bit of a rookie mistake.
How can I use this?
Hard to tell. There seems to be no obvious way to get them to play YOUR music to people who like other similar music. It’s too early to tell whether it’s going to be a really innovative way to discover music either, because there seems to be no real distinction between their approach to music discovery and anyone else’s (well, Last FM’s at any rate).
Should I pay it any attention?
It might be a good way to get an interesting mix of music happening in the office, but for now, I wouldn’t invest too much time in it as a strategy for music business success. However, if you could come up with a way to partner with these guys for your catalogue, it’s certainly not going to hurt. Once they come out of private beta and get some real audience sizes, there’ll be people listening — and it pays to go where the people are.