Music site Jango in public beta

Social-networking music site takes the best features of the big guys and makes them easier to find, but can it make a dent?

A new social-networking DIY Internet radio site called Jango went into public beta on Monday.

Jango, which Webware reviewed while it was still in private testing , offers many of the common features other leading music sites offer, but embeds the controls right within the main play bar.

The site concentrates on improving the usability and interface for DIY music sites that can sometime be daunting. Things like weighting the worth of a song, scrolling your own and others' playlists, finding band information, and managing music is all one click, mouse movement, or thumbnail away from the main play bar.

What remains to be seen is whether a newcomer can compete against the widely established communities like Last.fm and Finetune, and the vast music collection and extensive analysis of a site like Pandora.

Jango's analysis--which is based on cultural understanding of given artists and user-interaction--could be just fine with users in exchange for ease of use, more features, and more social interaction.

"Whatever we know about your taste in a point of time, the database will calculate the next 10 songs that it's going to play. When you get to the end of them or change your taste, it recalculates. So, if you hit skip it will take a half a second to figure out the next set of songs. At some point, we may move to a system where we recalculate every song," said Jango CEO Daniel Kaufman.

A desktop widget in the form of a miniplayer is also in the works, said Kaufman.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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