Forget about buying music; streaming your own playlists for free is now the way to go. Rdio is one of those sites that helps you share tunes. It has an extensive library of music, and it lets you add songs to playlists that you can share with followers who “add” you--much in the same vein as Twitter. Although Rdio emphasizes sharing songs within the site (and on Facebook and Twitter), you can also do your own thing and just use Rdio as an Internet radio station, streaming your hand-picked music all the time.
Rdio also has popular albums available for streaming--with no commercials, unlike Pandora. If you really like a song, or if you’ll be without Internet access for a short period of time, you can also download individual songs for a small fee (similar to iTunes). To get unlimited Web streaming from your PC, Rdio costs $5 a month, and the unlimited mobile streaming plan (which includes syncing your playlists from your phone to your PC) costs $10 a month.
Turntable is based on a similar concept, but it turns sharing into a game. The site offers collaborative music streaming, letting users set up “rooms” with five DJ spots. Turntable cycles through the DJs, allowing each person to play a song from Turntable’s library (which is more limited than Rdio’s), or to upload a song from any offline music library. Listeners can vote any DJ’s pick as “lame” or “awesome,” with the best DJs getting the honor of having the most “awesome” points.
That said, Turntable is still working out some glitches. Uploading music sometimes doesn’t work right away, and DJ playlists will save from session to session, so if you build a massive playlist for one Turntable room, the next time you sign in you’ll have to clear the whole list if you want to play a different genre of music. Still, if you need an impromptu place for friends to share musical stylings, Turntable is a great option.
Both sites let you listen to songs for free, but Rdio is more like a Pandora/Twitter hybrid, while at Turntable sharing is paramount. Your choice will probably depend on how social you want your Internet radio to be.