If you do know Pandora you will surely feel right at home when you open the FineTune website. Guests may use only part of the streaming radio services offered at the website but it is good enough for a rough overview of what FineTune has to offer.
Just enter an artists name in the search field and FineTune will search for the artist that you have entered as well as related artists to play music right away to you based on your input.
The search reveals many albums of the artist as well and you can either add selected songs to a playlist that you can create after you register an account, or listen to the songs for 30 seconds each. Adding playlists is rather easy. You click on the + symbol in front of the songs and it is added automatically to your playlist. There is a limit of three songs per artist and you need to create a complete playlist of 45 tracks before you can listen to it.
This is a severe limitation of course but it seems that they have to comply with some restrictions to offer the service at all. If you have added songs from at least three artists you may click the I'm lazy button which adds suggested songs automatically to your playlist to fill it so that you can start to play music right away.
Once a playlist has been created it becomes public and everyone may listen to it and comment on it. Instead of creating your own playlists you may also listen to playlists created by other members or so called stations which are playlists created by the Finetune team.
You may even embed playlists into your blog or on MySpace, code is provided to do so. I personally like this even more than Pandora but that is more a matter of taste.
Update: FineTune is still around and it appears that they have changed how the service operates. You can play radio stations right when you load the frontpage without registration. Some features, like the ability to create playlists, is still limited to registered users only. The core service is however free, and registration does not cost anything as well.
What may be even better is the fact that you can access the service from outside the United States whereas Pandora is limited to the US right now.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.