Pandora vs. Raditaz: Which Online Radio Station Plays the Best Music?

I'm a long time Pandora listener, but I recently became aware of Raditaz, a competing roll-your-own online radio station, which offers 14,000,000 tracks compared with Pandora’s 900,000 along with a few other bells and whistles.

In an attempt to compare the two services and see which serves up music most closely aligned with my tastes, I created the same custom station on each site and noted the first 11 tracks that were played.

I wanted to create a station based on a single track, which is how I prefer to create stations on Pandora. However, Raditaz only allows you to create stations based on artists, so I created a U2 station on each service.

Here are the results (note: I did not skip, like or dislike any tracks):

PandoraRaditaz
1U2 – Where The Streets Have No NameU2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
2The Cure – Just Like HeavenTears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
3Coldplay – Viva la VidaU2 – Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
4The Police – Every Little Thing She Does Is MagicQueen – Under Pressure
5U2 – Pride (In The Name Of Love)U2 – Pride (In The Name Of Love)
6Pearl Jam – BlackU2 – How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
7Peter Gabriel – In Your EyesThe Beatles Revival Band – If I fell
8The Cure – Love SongSixpence None The Richer – Kiss Me
9Coldplay – Clocks (Live)U2 – Vertigo
10U2 – Running To Stand StillThe Cars – Drive
11The Police – Wrapped Around Your FingerSimon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence

In terms of the number of plays of the artist on which the station is based, Raditaz wins 5:3. However, they did include a couple of bizarre choices in The Beatles Revival Band (?) and Simon & Garfunkel. Where did those come from?

Interestingly, both services played U2's Pride as the fifth song — some kind of coincidence, I imagine. Overall, other than the fact that Raditaz played more U2 songs, I preferred the song selection from Pandora, as the other artists played were more similar to U2 in my opinion.

Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.

Posted on: February 12, 2012 | 10 Comments

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10 Comments Posted

Raditaz has created a number of new features that we are going to launch in the near future. They include creating a station with up to 5 songs or 5 artists and personalizing each station by song or artist popularity.

I too have used both services and I find Raditaz to be un questionably superior to Pandora. Your test was so limited that you did not experinece the lack of depth in the Pandora library. It is not unusual to hear the same sone within one hour. The loops from Pandora get very boring. Where as with Raditaz I have found tons of new and exciting music. The fact that you did not employ the "like or dislike" buttons means that you did not engagge thier algorithm for music selection. Raditaz is using a state of the art music slection software, that if used will bring you the music you like in a short time. DId you try thier "Explore" feature, unique to Raditaz this allows you to go anywhere in the country and see and hear what others are listening to. With the death of the CD I have been very frustrated trying to source new music and bands. I feel that Raditaz is light years ahead of Pandora in that aspect.

Brian — you make a compelling argument! I do agree that I will hear the same songs on a particular Pandora station (although as they tend to be ones I like I don't mind too much), which is why the 'don't play for a month' feature is handy.

I've been trying to curate a film scores playlist on Raditaz and Pandora (which is what I listen to when I'm working), with more success so far on Pandora. I will keep plugging away with Raditaz, especially as they bring new features online.

Hi Chris, I find you open mind very refreshing. I have been an audiophile for 25 years. I have spent most of my "listening time" using primarily tube base equipment-VAC C.J. etc. I have been following the downward spiral of the music industry and the demise of the CD. I am constantly looking for new options in discovering music. The 'Explore" option on Raditaz has allowed me to hear what musicians are listening to in Austin, Nashville, San Francisco and Manhatten for the first time in the history of online music adventures as well as the Rhode Island coast line. This has been the first time in a long time that I feel like I am actually finding music that is of interest to me. Recently Public TV had a show on Brazilain music featuring a band I had never heard of " Bomba estereo" I went to Raditax and typed that band into "Create Station" and to my delight they came up and I began a journy into Brazilian music. This I believe is the future of music exploration and discovery well beyond my parameters, but also something unexpected

Pandora is Good.

pandora is good Raditaz is exponentially better than Pandora, just try Raditaz's Explore feature and tell me if you dont discover tons of great new music. Isint that what we really want. Listening to the same songs over and over is so yesterday

Brian — consider me intrigued by the 'explore' feature. I will be sure to give it a try.

I love Pandora. I love the fact that it's so easy to find new music with it!

I'm back on to Pandora. A while ago when I was first using Pandora, I felt like it kept veering away from my original selection. I would end up getting pop music from an indie station, things like that. After using it recently, I have way less of an issue. I guessed they fixed their algorithm. I'm going to try Raditaz here soon.

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