Yawn, another on-demand streaming music service adding Pandora-style personal radio. Isn’t this feature commoditised now, given that Spotify, Deezer, Google and others have it? Maybe not. The interesting thing about Rdio’s new Stations feature is the partnership behind it, with The Echo Nest. So while Stations offers the usual ‘gimme a stream based on an artist / song / genre’ feature, its additional You FM option is the thing to watch. Rdio is using The Echo Nest’s Taste Profiles technology to build a profile of each user based on their listening history, track votes, Facebook Likes and Twitter follows (when they’ve connected those two services), using all this data to power a personalised stream for each user. “Stations is a really elegant execution around what Taste Profiles are capable of, but still simple and intuitive,” says The Echo Nest’s CEO Jim Lucchese. “They have a very engineering-led, agile culture: great on the front-end user experience side of things, but they also understand the importance of data as well.” It’s a reminder that great personal radio is as much about understanding people as understanding music.

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