Friday, May 30, 2008

Pandora's Box Rocks

For you music lovers I want to introduce you to Pandora. This website is an online radio station that adapts to your style.

The whole premise is ingenious. They call it the Music Genome Project, a vast database of songs cataloged by dozens of different attributes: male or female vocals, instruments, rhythm, and other more complicated things like orchestration and arraignment.

You start with one artist or song, lets say Blink 182. They'll then play for you Blink 182 and other bands with similar characteristics. You get to fine tune your preferences with each song by giving it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. And if you like different styles of music, say classical, classic rock, etc, it's no problem. You can make as many stations as you need.

It's incredibly accurate and sometimes eerie. I swear at one point Pandora just started playing my "most played" list off my I-pod. Its real benefit comes from its ability to introduce to new music. Once it dialed into what I liked, it played a lot of new stuff that I could really groove on.

The Good:
  1. A station that finally plays what you want!
  2. Discover new awesome music.
  3. It's free.
  4. You can find out that you like the song "Rooftops" by Lost Prophets because, "it features electric rock instrumentation, a subtle use of vocal harmony, a vocal-centric aesthetic..." and on and on.

The Bad

  1. You can only skip so many songs per hour because of "licensing" or some other legal mumbo jumbo.
  2. You can't repeat a song you really like over, and over, and over again. Which is how I like to listen to music.

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