Help me meet my agonizingly specific internet music needs!
November 16, 2014 6:53 PM   Subscribe

I am struggling mightily to find the internet radio station and/or streaming music service that works for me. Am I just being too picky? Musical snowflakes inside.

I would like an eclectic and tasteful mix of interesting yet accessible music. I would prefer curated music over algorithmically generated playlists, as those too often fall down on the "tasteful" side--Pandora & Slacker, i'm thinking of you--and/or they have glaring gaps in their catalogues (Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Google, etc.) Genre-wise I generally tend to prefer indie pop, hip-hop and R & B but I don't want to just hear those things exclusively; I would like a constant, high-variety stream, so Songza or Beats playlists aren't going to cut it either. It seems like the best bet would be some radio station but I can't find a good fit--community radio stations can be good for a little while, but then the jerk who only likes the hardest of hardcore will take over for five hours. Stations like The Current or KEXP come closer but veer too hard away from the mainstream--I still want to hear Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift and Kanye West sometimes. I would also prefer stations that skew towards older, time-tested selections as opposed to inundating me with whatever the bleeding edge says is hot. Any ideas?
posted by zeusianfog to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Somafm? No one station will have all the variety, but together that cover a lot of what you want.
posted by googly at 7:15 PM on November 16, 2014

Sounds like you'd like an MP3 player in shuffle mode, or you want an actual radio with several radio stations to cycle through. I really doubt a streaming service with be able to give you the mix of hip-hop, pop music, indie-pop, and r&b that skews toward the 2000s and 90s to predict what you want to hear.

Personally, I like Sirius XM. I cycle through the 90s station and Pop2K for older pop hits, plus certain hip-hop stations and dance stations. Although even then, I don't know of a station that plays the "chillwave" electro-pop music I love. So it's always something. At home I just listen to downloaded music, but I like XM for driving because they play songs I wouldn't have chosen myself.

FYI, you named every music streaming service I have ever heard of in your question.
posted by AppleTurnover at 8:25 PM on November 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Perhaps Radio Tunes? They have a large variety of channels to chose from and are free.
posted by googlebombed at 8:54 PM on November 16, 2014

I was just about to suggest RadioTunes, formerly, but googlebombed beat me to the punch. I don't know if the RadioTunes subscription also includes Digitally Imported, but I know I used to get bundled with my DI subscription. (DI is nice in and of itself but is all electronica) A sub is not required, but I liked having the higher quality streams when listening on my HTPC.

I ended up dropping it in favor of Play Music All Access, but I could get away with that since I already own basically everything I care about that Google doesn't have rights for. Since uploaded music is a first class citizen and works the same as the Google library stuff, PMAA has worked very well for me despite the gaps.
posted by wierdo at 9:06 PM on November 16, 2014

Radio Paradise is worth a try. You won't get hip hop or Swift/Gaga/West. But you will get "an eclectic and tasteful mix of interesting yet accessible music" that is curated.
posted by sylvanshine at 10:45 PM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure whether AccuRadio is curated enough to meet your needs, but you can create a custom radio station that combines a number of their radio streams. You'll get variety, at least.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 9:45 AM on November 17, 2014

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