Thursday, July 31, 2008 Private Beta

CBS Radio replaced XM Radio in the AOL Radio module in my buddylist about a month ago. The interface really didnt change, but I noticed that there was a lot less repeats than on the XM stations which was refreshing. At that time I signed up to learn more about the CBS radio service that was going to be seperate from AOL to see what they were going to offer. I got an invite today.
I like the drag / drop and target interface to create a station / mix. But, There needs to be a way to limit an artists catalog. Possibly a search with the artists name resulting in a list of their albums. This way you could choose which albums to include. Searching album by album is way too time consuming and my memory is really bad.

I find the rating system too basic and I haven't found information about how ratings effect stations. So I emailed support and got this answer:

The ratings system is used on the back-end, with low-rated songs playing less often across all stations. Right now, there is no indication on the front end of what a song’s rating is. “The Brain” (the technology responsible for determining song play) looks at song ratings from all users to determine whether or not a song should be played.

I honestly don't care if someone else doesn't like a song, but if I like it I want it to play on my station. I want it to work similar with a recommendation engine to suggest songs I may like based on my ratings.

The player is very basic and simple to use.

I don't have an iPhone, but AOL Radio (powered by CBS will be offering a free application for the iPhone so you can play your radio stations where ever you are.

There were a few hicups along the way from page timeouts for intially getting onto the site to sign up for the Beta testing as well as the first time I tried to submit my profile. The time was showing PST (I'm in EST).

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