Another streaming music service throws its headphones into the ring today with the launch of Raditaz, a new Internet radio offering that bakes geolocation into its 14 million song database.
Raditaz — although borderline hideous in appearance — is a pretty solid, simple product. Sign up for an account (it’s free both on Android and iOS devices and the web) and start creating stations the same way you would with Pandora. Since the service has so many songs, I was able to create stations for tiny local bands not found on less abundant services, like Rdio, which is a plus.
Raditaz also had a bunch of pre-loaded stations (top hits, genres, etc) if you’re feeling lazy, and gives you unlimited skips — another plus. You can also share stations with friends via your social networks and email. The service is not on-demand, however, so you can’t listen to songs whenever you like. You also can’t cache stations for offline listening on mobile.
Sounds pretty basic, right? Not quite. Raditaz seeks to further distinguish itself from services like Pandora by mixing in a location-based element. When you create a station, it’s automatically tagged with your location. You can also tag your station with keywords, like #Dancing, #Chill, #Makeout, etc, so as to further define them. Why go to all the trouble of geo-tagging and curating your stations? So that other people can find them, of course.
Click “Explore” on Raditaz to check out all the other stations created by users in your immediate area. Here, you can see which stations are trending near you, popular stations and new stations. You can also type in a keyword to find even more specific stations — tagged by other users with those terms we mentioned before.
As a casual user, I wasn’t wholly impressed with Explore feature, to be honest. Why should a user’s station be more interesting to me just because he’s local? Perhaps if such discovery was more social (If everyone had a detailed profile and you could message station creators) or had a gameplay element, it would be more valuable/fun for consumers.
For artists, however, such a feature could be a boon — if the Explore aspect were more robust, a band could easily see in which cities its music is most popular. That knowledge could be extremely valuable to touring artists, who could visit targeted cities accordingly.
All in all, however, as a music discovery tool, Raditaz is pretty solid — definitely worth a download if you’re frustrated by Pandora’s small catalogue or in the mood for a more passive music-listening experience than Spotify offers.
By Brenna Ehrlich
Image courtesy of Flickr, masochismtango