Like Music? Pandora.

October 23, 2006

Thanks to another heads-up my from my most excellent friend, Jim, I played all evening (along with about 6 — no, 5 — cups of green tea) with a great new(?) service at Pandora.com. I had other shit stuff to do, and once I got ‘er all tuned up I was able to get that, uh, stuff at least started — all to some similar and many unfamiliar sounds from the uncharacteristically strong sound from the ‘ol Toshiba laptop.

PANDORA was started by the guys at The Music Genome Project. They’ve been listening and catalogueing all sorts of music since 2000. Quite a gig if you can get it. Of course, someone had to catalogue the crap too. I’m not sure if that’s a valid category, but I can think of about 100 bands I’d save some time on and just batch into “crap”. I digress…

It works really well, and looks good to boot. Very clean.

Pandora Player

You can rate all of the songs you hear with a “thumbs up” or the down version. How very TiVo-esque, but it works and it’s intuitive. They start you off with a track from the band you choose (you can also base a “Station” on a song — but that’s not how I listen to music) and then roll out the tracks based on the Music Genomes.

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Hate a song (or somthing about it)? LOVE a song? You can take your feelings a step further by snapping the “Guide Us” button at the bottom right.

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Right away I thought I stumped ’em. “Radiohead” comes up in a “Mountain Goats” station and before I hear it, I giggle. And then — it fits, perfectly. Wanna know why the system popped it in? Just ask.

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  • Mellow rock instrumentation? Not always, but in this case, OK.
  • Folk influences? Check.
  • Acoustic sonority? I like the sound of that — check.
  • Major key tonality? It certainly is, although most of the time gimme a minor chord.
  • Acoustic rhythm guitars? Yes.

Detailed and an interesting insight.

Want to share your “Station” with a friend or find public “Stations” to give a listen to?Couldn’t be easier.

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The player has visual ads and when you sign up you are told that they’ll have audio ads too — gotta support it some way. They give an option to subscribe for $3 – $4 per month (based on length of subscription/donation).

Give ’em a try at http://www.pandora.com

One Response to “Like Music? Pandora.”

  1. badr0bot Says:

    i finally started listening to Pandora today. I really like how descriptive the variables aree. Its nice to be able to set up a station by song rather than just be band.
    It’ll take me a while longer to see how successful the matching algorithm is.


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