Nature vs. Nurture in Music Recommenders
An excellent post by Steve Krause comparing music recommendation services Pandora and Last.fm. It is a nice follow-up to recent posts by Fred Wilson, TechCrunch, and David Porter.
I first posted about Pandora a while ago. It even inspired one of my favorite off-beat i-boy posts: Michael Mann, Audioslave and Pandora.
Since then, however, I've become convinced that Last.fm is a much better product. It is a far-superior service with add-ons and features that Pandora simply cannot match. It is the power of a service using technology to enable social recommendation versus a smart algorithm.
To me, the former still has the edge. For now, I prefer the NYTimes to Google News. Like most people, I prefer the value of recommendations and word-of-mouth from people to auto-generated links. Combine the two (as Last.fm does) and you create a very powerful offer.
You've got to wonder if there isn't something here that should worry Google just a bit.
To be continued ...
Monday, March 20, 2006