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Best Web App

Slacker Works Hard to Find Music

Illustration: Zohar Lazar
Over the past year, music "taste sharing" sites have increased in visibility and popularity. They're not only a good way to get hip to new music, but they're good places to meet new people, too.

Despite its name, is no slouch. Rivals such as Last.fm and Pandora garner well-deserved praise, but don't compare to Slacker in ease of use. No matter what your music tastes may be, within about 30 seconds of first arriving at this Internet radio site you can be listening to your pick of a huge number of potential stations.

It gets even better. Slacker helpfully displays the full list of artists that play on any given station, but you don't have to stick with the list. If you start with one of the premade genre stations, you can toss bands you don't like from the lineup. Pick an artist station, which adds similar bands to an artist you search for, and you can also mix in your choice of crooners. You can choose favorite songs to hear them more often, and skip those you don't like (up to six songs per hour for the free level of use).

Add in more fine-tuning options for each station, such as whether to lean toward lesser-known music or top hits, plus a downloadable software player that can run without a browser, and you'll like this hard-working Slacker.

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