Pandora may be one of the better-known music-discovery apps to premier in the iTunes App Store yesterday (download | review), but it isn't the only free Internet music-streaming and discovery service-turned-iPhone-application out there. One of my iPhone-blessed colleagues here at CNET also heartily recommended AOL Radio.
AOL's channel of recommendations tops the category listings on this simple vertical app, followed by category genres from Alternative to Sports talk and World music. Clicking a category streams content by radio station or by predefined collection. All songs play on a darkened screen powered by CBS Radio. The artist's name and available album art are displayed when available. Below is a options button that can be "tapped" to save the song or find it on either iTunes or AOL Music.
All of these are useful functions of streaming media, but what won my colleague over is the ease of streaming local stations by selecting the city from a tab.
AOL Radio may not offer the same element of excitement or surprise as Pandora's music-picking engine, but with a song and station history, favorites, local stations, and collections, it's a viable contender for those who aren't as interested in rating songs or having an algorithm pick their next jam.