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Who doesn’t love Internet radio? I was a slow adopter when it came to streaming online music, but now I’m a believer and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Fortunately, the technology has been continually advancing and now we’ve got a number of great mobile music streaming services. Jango Radio is one of them and it most definitely deserves your attention.
Do you know Pandora? It’s an online streaming service with a twist – you enter in an artist, song, or genre and it works to find other artists and songs that are similar to what you entered. It’s all about expanding your musical tastes by delivering that which is close to what you already like. Jango Radio does the same thing but you can take it with you everywhere on your Android device.
Here we have the main interface for Jango Radio. When you first start up Jango, you’ll need to create an account which will be used to store your preferences and manage your different stations. The process was extremely quick (less than a minute) so I have nothing bad to say there. Once you create an account, you can jump right into listening.
The interface is simple and intuitive. You’ve got the current artist and song title up in the left corner. The main section displays the album art and track progress. Down below, you have 5 control buttons on the top row and 4 navigation buttons on the bottom. I really like the prominence of the interface; everything is right there, easy to find, and each icon is distinct.
Internet radio doesn’t need to be complicated, so Jango Radio gets bonus points from me. I just want to listen to music and that’s what it does.
Each station is determined by a particular song or artist that you assign to it. The playlist for that station, then, are all of the songs in Jango’s database that sound similar to the initial song or artist. You don’t drag-and-drop any songs into a playlist; everything is chosen automatically for you.
As you listen to songs, you can Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down particular selections depending on whether or not you think it fits the station that you’ve created. Sounds similar to Pandora, right? Well, it basically is.
But the cool thing about Jango is that you can edit a station and manually add more artists to it. This broadens the station variety. However, it gets even better: you can change the Variety Settings to switch up the algorithm that Jango uses to find songs. If you want to narrow the selection to only songs that are extremely similar, you can. If you want to broaden the selection and reduce repetition, you can.
That sort of personalization is not offered by Pandora (as far as I know) and it’s absolutely awesome. Depending on my mood, I can switch up the Variety Settings and be content with Jango’s selection for me.
There are two ways to browse Jango’s stations: you can look at the stations you’ve created for yourself OR you can traverse the dozens of default stations according to genre. The breadth of selection in the genre stations is actually impressive and they are a great way to take a break from my usual songs.
Jango Radio has a few cool features that stick out to me. First, you can alter the audio quality between Low, Medium, and High in order to optimize your listening experience for your Internet connection (in case it’s too slow and buffers a lot, for example). There’s also a Sleep Timer in case you only want to play music for a certain amount of time.
Other features that you may enjoy:
- Unlimited listening; no artificial caps.
- Share your stations through Facebook and Twitter.
- Listen to your Jango stations on a desktop at Jango.com.
The only feature that I really miss is the ability to go back to a song that I just heard. It’s possible to skip the current song, but going back seems to be a hassle – especially if I wasn’t able to look at my phone in time to see the title and artist of that song. It’s a small feature, but I miss it dearly.
Otherwise, Jango is an impressive app. It is supported by ads, but Jango’s ads are shorter than Pandora’s and far less frequent. Between the two, Pandora is more renowned with a larger userbase, but Jango Radio does give it a run for its money. If you’ve been looking for a Pandora alternative, give it a try.