Technology is great when it can be used to bring families together. Internet radio is a great way to experience a variety of music, and experience great artists as a family. Whether your family is getting ready to get out the door, and needs some motivation, or you're trying to relax after a long week, internet radio can help you do that. Here are four great internet radio applications you can use today!
Pandora is a web-based application that "listens" to the types of music you like, and then adjusts accordingly. You input a song title, artist, or genre, and Pandora will do the rest, searching for similar music to suit your tastes. If you don't like a song, click the "thumbs down" button, and Pandora will take note. If you like a song, click the "thumbs up" button, and Pandora will be sure to play more songs and artists like that one. You can create multiple stations, with different styles of music. We use Pandora a lot to teach our kids about different styles of music. For $36/year, you can upgrade your Pandora account and have your music without advertisements. One of our favorite family activities is to pull up the Pandora iPhone app, and plug the iPhone into the dock with a favorite station. It's fun to hear what Pandora picks for us to listen to next.
Live365 is what you might think of when you think of internet radio. Much like Pandora, it streams music based on a genre classification. The difference with Live365 is that the different stations are run by actual people, and some of them are actual AM/FM stations out there in the world. For about 100 bucks a month, you could be the DJ and play the songs you want for up to 250 simultaneous listeners. It's also a great way to find songs that you won't hear on the radio. Live365 also has great apps for the iPhone and Android. For $5.95 per month, you can become a "VIP", which gives you an ad-free music account.
Jango is another great website that lets you customize radio stations, and even share them with friends. It uses the likes of other listeners to recommend other music to you based on your tastes. Jango is a highly visited website, with over 7 million unique visitors per month. Just click an artist you like, and your first song comes right up. When a song is playing, the site pulls up information on the artist, and gives you easy access to be able to purchase the song you're listening to. It also shows you other users who are fans of the artist you like, and you can view their profile to see what other music they're interested in. This makes it as much a social network as it is a music player. Jango is a simple, user-friendly, internet radio site.
LastFM, like Pandora, uses technology to recommend music for you based on music you already like or listen to. You can either choose one of the many genres like acoustic, blues, pop, country, or 70's, or you can enter in an artist or a song that you really like. LastFM will play songs and artists that are similar to your selection. You can also search based on popularity in the United States, or other countries, which will expand your music horizons. Internet radio is a fun way to hear the music you like, and explore new genres of music, and new artists. Your family will love the clarity, and the ability to customize to get the exact music you like. Regardless of which service you use, there is a ton of free music available that will broaden your horizons, and help you and your family bond over great music. Enjoy!