It can work for you, read here, courtesy of Wired magazine. Here’s just one bit:
[email protected] offers more than 175 free stations with fixed genres. In addition to the standard pop, rock and jazz categories, there’s a great mix of less-common genres including Hawaiian, klezmer, Bollywood, doo-wop, Motown and baroque. The single-minded fan can catch channels devoted to Ray Charles, Prince or the Doors. The WB channel features music from its various television shows.
Here is more on the service. I am especially fond of the Dancehall channel.
Internet radio, of course, is a substitute for downloading music. In the limiting case (if population were much, much larger), you could have a radio station for every song. Mandatory licensing would then apply, which is how the law ought to have treated music downloads in the first place (though here is a Cato critique of the idea). You can offer the song, you simply have to pay royalties, at some legally fixed rate, after the fact. We would have a more competitive market for downloads and a much greater selection of music. On the downside, we probably wouldn’t have those neat iPod device designs, as profit margins for Apple would be lower.
The law, of course, is keen to maintain the distinction between Internet radio and downloads. But how about a station that played the “requested song” with a probability of 0.4? Here is an article about “customizable” Internet raio, and why it might prove more useful than downloads. Here is readable information about the legal status of Internet radio. On a different but related front, now the RIAA is worred about digital radio too.