Review: Pandora vs. MusicMatch "Artist Match"

I have a subscription MusicMatch's "On Demand" service, which includes the ability to put in an artist and say "Music like this." I loved this when I first experienced it, but Pandora is much better.

Compare these two results for a seed of "Jesus & Mary Chain":

MusicMatch "Artist Match"

  1. "Situation" by Yaz
  2. "Blue Monday" by New Order
  3. "Love & Peace or Else" by U2
  4. "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" by The Smiths
  5. "Cities" by The Talking Heads

Okay, fair enough recreation of a 1982 New Wave commercial radio playlist...

Pandora:

  1. "Eric's Trip" by Sonic Youth
  2. "Stand Guard" by Bob Mould
  3. "Pig Knuckled Clown" by Flour
  4. "Sometimes" by Firehose
  5. "Soft Signals" by Limblifter

Now that's like what you'd expect from a college DJ! With Pandora, you can actually fine-tune what you want to hear considerably, but even with just the seed there's no question that Pandora "gets" the sound of Jesus & Mary Chain and MusicMatch "gets" the era and that its "New Wave."

Between KEXP.ORG, ReplayRadio, MusicMatch On Demand, and Pandora, I actually feel like I'm hearing as much musical diversity as I ever did on the mainland.