Friday, November 30, 2007

Favorite Sites: Pandora

On other blogs I've had in the past, I've highlighted some of my favorite sites. I thought I'd revive the tradition.

I'm not sure how I first learned about Pandora, but I used it for a while, then it got lost in my maze of bookmarks and I forgot about it. I ran across it again a couple of weeks ago and can't remember why I ever quit using it. It's great!!!

Pandora is radio from the Music Genome Project...
On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.

Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.
What does this all mean to you? Go to Pandora, set up an account, tell them a couple of artists or songs that you like. They have broken down the music into specific attributes which they use to create a radio station just for you. They play you your favorites and other songs or artists with similar attributes. (Right now, on my station, "Malleus Maleficarum" by AFI is playing. The attributes of this song are hard rock roots, punk influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony, minor key tonality, and electric rhythm guitars.) As your station plays, you tell them which songs you like and which songs you don't like and this helps refine what they play for you. It's a great way to hear new music (or music that's just new to you.)

Lately, I've been listening to Pandora pretty much non-stop while web surfing. Just open it up in a window or tab, then do all your web surfing in another window or tab. Very neat!

I'm not sure how well Pandora would work if you just have a dial-up connection. It might slow down your web surfing too much to enjoy. If you want to check it out, it might be best to put it on and let it play while doing something else.

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