Launchcast Customized Online Radio
A few years ago, a web site called launch.com started that offered customized online radio (called launchcast) that allowed you to rate songs, artists, and albums. Those ratings influenced what songs you heard on your own personal radio station. The web site was so successful that it was bought by Yahoo and became "Yahoo Music: Launchcast".
You start out by selecting what genres of music you listen to, and rate some artists. From there you simply listen to music which is automatically picked based on your ratings. For every song you listen to, the radio interface allows you to rate 1) the song, 2) the artist, and 3) the album. Those ratings influence your future music.
You need to be using Internet Explorer to listen to the radio, so if you are using firefox with the IEView extension, click the link below and click "tools"->"always view this page in IE".
www.launch.com (redirects to music.yahoo.com)
Pop up blockers will prevent the radio interface from opening, so first you need to disable Internet Explorers Pop up blocker for that site. The yahoo site is incorrect in what it states about what to unblock for pop ups, so follow the instructions below:
To disable IE's Pop up blocker, click Tools->Pop Up Blocker->"Pop Up Blocker Settings" on IE. In the text box, type in "*.launch.yahoo.com", and click "Add".
Unfortunately, there is no way to manually unblock a specific site in the Google Toolbar, and the way the yahoo site redirects, you cant unblock it the usual way. Because of this, if you have the google toolbar, you have to disable its pop up blocker all-together. If you have it, click the google button next to the toolbar search box, then click options. Uncheck the pop up blocker checkbox to disable the blocker.
Now, if you have a yahoo login, click sign in at the top of the yahoo launch.com site and log in. If you don't, click "sign up" at the top.
Once signed in (or signed up), on the front page of the launch.com page, move your mouse over the purple box that says "Launchcast Radio". A drop down will appear, and if "play my station" doesn't show, click the link that says "Customize my Station", "edit my station", or "create my station". Answer the questions it asks you about your music preferences.
Once you are done with the initial process, you can launch your radio station by going back to the "Launchcast Radio" drop down and clicking "Play my Station". The radio window will pop up and you will start listening to music.
Remember that the more you rate, the more customized the music will be that you listen to. There are 3 main ways of rating music:
1) Listen to your customized radio and rate the songs, artists, and albums that are played. You should do this whenever listening to your customized radio. You can use the "Recently Played" link on the home page to go back through all the songs you have heard during that session.
2) Search (from the top of the launch.com home page) for artists, albums, or songs you like. Once you find them, rate them and they will appear in your customized station. Some things you can add are Movie Soundtracks such as Disney's Tarzan or Lord of the Rings, comedy such as Jeff Foxworthy, Weird Al, or Monty Python, Specific Artists such as Dave Matthews Band, etc...
3) Listen to a regular 'Genre' radio station that matches your preferences. Your rating wont affect what you hear on that station, but the ratings will affect what you hear when you go back to your customized radio station. This is good for when you are in a certain mood and your customized radio station just isnt hitting the spot.
If you really want to, you can also check out My radio station to hear what sort of music I am listening to. I make no gurantees that you will like my music :).
Note that the free version that you are listening to does have commercials every so often, and you can only "skip" a certain number of songs per hour. After over a year of listening to the free version, I finally decided that it was worth the $2.99/month to get rid of the commercials and be able to skip as many songs as I want.
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