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Jango is one of the streaming music services which seems to have lost its footing in the last couple of years. I remember how 5-6 years ago; it took the world by storm with its captivating social media features and artist support. However, everything went downhill when the app tried to implement a clunky lyric feature coupled with intrusive display ads. The last couple of years have seen Jango face a lot of backlash from its loyal users and the service is working towards finding a middle ground.
After tons of bad reviews and user complaints, Jango reduced to one ad-per day. That was welcomed by the users who were earlier bombarded with commercial assault every five minutes. Nonetheless, the platform has lost its charm because it no longer emphasizes on quality. Earlier, it was seen as a helping hand for indie-artists. Today, however, it feels like a marketing hotbed that places emphasis on pushing the artist for money. This approach never goes well for any party involved and thus there’s been a drop in Jango’s monthly listeners.
What is Jango?
Jango is a custom radio and music streaming service which offers a wide range of genres to its users. Jango was the first music streaming platform with integrated social networking into a radio station. Since 2007, it has allowed users to listen to playlists created by other users and even share their own on Jango’s social network.
Over the years, the site has built its reputation on providing indie artists an opportunity to showcase their music for free. Thus, by charging $30 for 1000 plays, Jango would recommend their songs alongside other popular artists. This particular feature is known as the Jango airplay and has helped independent producers to put their work out there and get heard from the masses. Some of the key features of Jango airplay includes: – Song played once within any two-hour period – Once a song is played, it won’t be played again throughout the day – Any song with over 50 upvotes will be pushed to the regular playlist
What I love about these conditions is that Jango isn’t commercializing the platform completely. It will help the budding artists but not at the expense of its regular listeners. Thus, when a particular song is aired and it receives the backing, it’ll automatically receive Jango’s support. In case if it doesn’t, it won’t be played again, so both the users and artists can be happy.
Jango began its journey in New York in November 2007. It was launched by Chris Dowhan and Daniel Kaufman, who were the founders of Dash.com. Just two years after its launch, Jango amassed 200,000 tracks from around 15,000 artists in its library. Fast forward a decade, Jango has over 70 million songs and over 20 million active users.
Why should you stream on Jango?
Though the streaming services may have lost its touch in recent years. It still manages to attract over a million users a month. And that’s because it still offers quality features that providers dedicated users to tune-in to Jango.
Jango is a custom radio which allows me to hear what I want. It makes listening to music easy and fun. You can create custom radio stations, share with your network and even access another user’s playlist. Choose your favorite band or singer and Jango will start playing music from those artists. You can keep refining your stations and songs by playing tracks frequently. It has a pre-existing playlist with hundreds of stations based upon different genres.
Unlimited Skip feature
If you don’t like a song, you can skip it as many times as you want. There’s no restriction as to how many times you skip. We’ve seen this feature in AccuRadio except that one comes with a pre-roll ad after every 3-4 skips.
Though this feature might sound common, it’s not. First, you can ban a certain number of songs or channels which you don’t like. Apart from that, you can add up to six artists on your playlist so it is customized as per your taste. My list has Redman, Post Malone, Twenty-One Pilots, Drake and Adele. This allows the service to adapt as per my taste and provide music based upon my preference. What I really like about this service is that you can even find music in which you don’t remember the lyrics under ‘’Misheard Lyrics” or “Featured in Apple Commercials” category.
I have a weird attraction to hearing underground artists. There’s something to the feeling of knowing the artist from before they were popular. Jango as a service provides access to such talented artists who can be huge in years to come. Thus, helping you develop a connection before they even hit the mainstream stage.
How to access Jango?
You can access the Jango website either by typing the keyword Jango or by using the following link: Jango Custom Radio. Apart from this, you can even download the app which is available on Android and iOS platforms. Simply type Jango in the search bar and you shall find the official app on the store.
Design is an area where Jango’s website falls flat. Sure, there are dozens of options that make the website intuitive, but if the first impression is something you use to judge a website then Jango lacks it. The most terrible element on the website is the font – It takes away everything that’s good on the website.
Upon visiting the website for the first time, I saw a landing page with a blue background – search bar at the center and tiny thumbnails under it. There were eight different categories with small album art cluttered into a thumbnail. Under that, there’s a callout which says ‘’Browse over 800 curate genre playlists”. Honestly, I felt like bouncing off right away but since I wanted to review the service, I had to stick around. And so, I clicked on Popular Rock Hits and started my journey. It took me to a new page which is a standard format for all the pages.
Since the website in unconventional, we’ll have to dissect it on the basis of different parameters. As soon as I visited the Popular Rock Hits page, I was able to rate songs and create stations as a guest. It allowed me to review everything in the settings menu. Furthermore, I created an account and logged in so I can see if it can keep up with my music taste. Throughout my 2-hour journey on the website, here are a few of the important bits that I’d like to share with you.
Loads a personalized section based upon the category you selected. It’ll suggest radio stations, recent stations along with hundred of other genres which you can access.
Using this section, you can access all the songs that you’ve thumbed up. You’ll be able to view the video of that song along with information about the artists. At any time, you can choose to add or remove the songs from that list.
The opposite of the favorites list. This section will have all the songs that you have thumbed down. Similar to the favorites list, you will be able to see the information about the artist and will be able to remove or add songs to this list.
You can review and edit the station’s list by using the station history. This is one of the primary reasons why I logged in. I wanted to know if the platform can actually track my preferences and I’m glad to share that it didn’t disappoint.
It’s not the quantity but quality that attracts me towards this app. All radio streaming services are competing to offer the best song selection in the best quality. Jango offers over two dozen genres that cover the likes of Rock/Pop, Country, Reggae, World/Latin, Dance, Electronica, Rap/Hip-hop, Blues, Gospel, Film/Tv, R&B/Soul, Jazz, Vocal, Independent and New age. Apart from these, you’ll even get access to traditional stations.
Though the service is receiving heat, it doesn’t compromise on quality. It offers good streaming quality with hiccup-free music from any connection. I was able to skip an unlimited number of tracks – a feature not even provided by premium services such as Pandora or Slacker Radio.
Plans & Pricing
Jango is free to use. It has ads which you need to watch.
Suggestions I have for Jango
I’d be fine with paying $3.99/month if the developers can remove the ads. The ads along with the intrusive artist promotion just bring down the overall experience which can be great. Another suggestion would be to improve the website – it looks really bad and rubs a first-time user the wrong way.
Jango’s music quality is on par with all the premium music streaming services out there. Having said that, its interface and annoying artist promotion ads don’t help the service in any way. Anyways, if you’re looking for a free radio streaming service, you should check Jango out at least once.