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A few days ago we wrote about Last.fm’s new service and how nice it is that users can listen to music for free. There are a few limitations though, and one of them is that you can only listen to a song three times for free before being required to subscribe. Epiac1216 commented that he has been using a service called Songza, and what was so great about it was that there were no strings attached. Epiac said that he could “prepare my own playlist with the selected songs and they will be played in the order I chose.” This got me thinking about how there are all kinds of music services out there that some of you may not be aware of.  Today we’ll be taking a look at Songza, but we’re also asking you to fill us and everybody else in on the music service you use, and why you use it. This way everybody will have multiple options to choose from when they’re trying to find a way to listen to the music that they love online.

What is Songza?

songza On the Songza website, they describe themselves as “the music search engine & Internet jukebox” where you can listen. Now. It’s got a unique design and a color that makes it stand out. At first glance, it may appear that there’s not much to the service, however, looks are deceiving in this case.  It’s got an extremely clean interface and a clutter free design and so while it may look like nothing, there’s actually quite a bit of functionality there.

Where does it come from?

The site was designed and brought to life by Aza Raskin who happens to be the son of Jeff Raskin, the Apple Macintosh co-founder. On the Songza about page, they say that “Like all good ideas, both the concept and design came to Aza while he was in the shower.”

Searching for music

Did I mention that they make awesome use of Ajax? Well, they do. Performing a search is so quick and easy, thanks in part to the Ajax.  On the homepage there is a nice big search box where you can enter a specific song or an artist that you’re wanting to hear. I did a search for “Daughtry” and it pulled up a whole list of songs pretty quickly. And because of the Ajax, the page didn’t have to completely re-load.

songza 1

Clicking on one of the results will pull up a menu so that you can play a song, share it, rate it, or add it to a playlist. Once you click to play a song, you’ll get links to “watch video” (it’ll be a YouTube video for the song) or buy the song via Amazon.

Sharing with others

If you find a song that you’d like to share with others, you have a few ways to do this.  That menu I mentioned above will give you all of your options for sharing.  They include embedding it into your blog, a Facebook or MySpace account, or other web sites.  You can also get a direct link to the song, or email it to a friend. Embedding a player into your own site is simple. It’s a Flash player too, which is nice.

Another social aspect to this site is that you can vote a song up or down. In the pop-up menu that you’ll see when clicking on a song, there’s an option that says “rate.” It asks “is this a good recording” and then you can click a simple yes or no.

songza 3

What it’s not

If you’re looking for a music discovery service, this isn’t it.  It’s not going to tell you what you might like, instead it simply plays the songs that you search for that you want to hear.  Additionally, this is NOT a music download service. You go to Songza simply to listen. Songza is simply about  helping you find and then playing the music that you want to listen to.

Which music service do you use?

Songza has quickly moved to the top on my list of favorite online music services out there. There are so many different services out there though, so we’re wondering, which service do you use online? Pandora? Last.fm? XM Radio or Sirius Radio?

Source: Thanks Omar for mentioning this in the comments!