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Fine Tune

Posted by Miss Cellania on March 25, 2007.

When I saw a friend had embedded a Fine Tune music player on his blog, I wanted one for my site, too. You can select your songs, build a playlist (or two, or more) and put a player on your site. Once I got started, it took me an hour to select enough songs for a playlist. You can see my finished product after the jump.

Fine Tune requires you have at least 45 songs on a playlist, and no more than three songs by any artist. Seems that those rules make it a “radio station” instead of “piracy”. If you get tired of selecting songs, you can hit a button to automatically fill out your 45 songs, then you can go back and replace them when you have the time, or when you think of another favorite song you want. You can have way more than 45 if you want.

My friend put over 100 songs on one playlist. I, on the other hand, want the minimum number of songs to make sure that they are nothing but the few I want to hear. If I decide there are more must-haves, I’ll start another playlist. I wanted some songs that aren’t available, like C+C Music Factory's version of Pride (In the Name of Love) which you can’t find anywhere. My cassette copy is getting worn out. There are no Beatles songs available, either. My tastes are pretty eclectic. I doubt there are any other playlists on Fine Tune with Lena Horne, Steve Earle, and The Dropkick Murphys. But I’m a disc jockey, so while I like what I hear on radio, I really crave what you don’t hear on radio.

Another music service, Pandora, provides content by picking new music you haven’t heard. What they select is based on a few songs you select, then they figure out what else might appeal to you. That’s great, if you are looking for something you haven’t heard before. And I use the word "they" as if real people are doing the selecting, when its a computer program.

Shelly at The View From Here (where you’ll find all kinds of widgets) tried both and wrote up a comparison between Fine Tune and Pandora. Here’s just a few differences:

Finetune (F): You choose the songs.

Pandora (P): You can add songs and/or artists. Pandora will use them and also pick based on them.

F: You can embed a player on your site or blog and it won't play automatically unless you add the code for that.
P: You can add a widget to your blog or site that shows your faved songs or artists with a link to your station.

F: You can listen to your playlists through your blog or the site. You can also listen to other playlists.
P: You go to the site to listen to your stations. I haven't seen any other way.

It's a damn sight better than having a song play automatically when someone opens your page... which is the second most annoying thing on the net, right after spam. Check out my player, and you might want to get one for your own site. Click on the right side of the player to go to another song. I've found myself keeping an extra window open to my site, so I can listen to music while doing other things on the net.

If you enjoyed this story, read more like it in our Miss Cellania's section.

Reader Comments

Thanks for that post - I'm now a Finetune convert! Pandora always seemed to get close, but never hit the right music genre. That, and the site seems loaded with B-Sides from bands that are pale imitations of the music I really wanted to hear.

Me: "I like U2."

Pandora: "Great! Here are songs from Coldplay tribute bands trying their hands at original music. Just what you wanted!"

Me: "I like Finetune."

Posted by El Queso Grande.