Be your own online radio DJ

Internet audiophiles can customise their own personal radio stations with a new free online radio service from Yahoo! Australia.

Accessed through the Yahoo! Music Web page, the site also features streamed music video clips, reviews, biographies, news and interviews.

Yahoo! Australia and NZ's head of entertainment, Brian Boys, likened the site to music video programs on television.

"You've got online iTunes shops which are like your HMVs and then you've got Yahoo! Music which is a service for the people," Boys said. "We are the Video Hits and Channel Vs of the Internet."

The customised radio lets users choose genres or artists to include in their own personalised stations. The frequency of songs being played is determined by the user giving a star rating to the song, album or artist.

Users can also play predetermined radio categories such as "Pop Hits" or "Made in Australia".

Personalised stations are fleshed out with extra songs from Yahoo!'s content management system, said Boys.

He said the system cross references a user's chosen songs with others whose preferences reflect their own. Songs are then added to a person's playlist and they are rated by the user to continue the cycle.

"It's about interactivity and giving power back to the consumer and user. That's what the Internet is all about," Boys said.

As the service does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Australian Broadcasting Services Act, it is not obligated to play a required quota of Australian content. Regardless, Boys said Australian artists were showcased on the site regularly.

"The service is all about promoting local artists and giving them exposure," he said. "We are working on a section that appears on the US Yahoo! Music called 'Who's Next?' that is geared at unearthing local talent." he said.

The service is free, but Boys hinted that the site could employ an optional subscription fee in the future, similar to its US counterpart that gives users higher quality songs, downloadable content and access to more pre-customised radio stations.

While Yahoo! Music only runs on Internet Explorer there are plans to make the service Firefox-compatible in the near future.

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