Monday, August 30, 2010

Music Monday -- Pandora Radio

I know I usually highlight a band I'm listening to on Mondays, but today I've got something totally different. If you already know about Pandora Radio, then I'm not going to tell you anything new. If you don't know about Pandora, then this is your lucky day.

Pandora Radio is the result of the Music Genome Project. It was started in 2000 by a group of musicians analyzing music for commonalities. They capture what is unique about every song, band, album, whatever, and then basically code it with this metadata. Then, you can think of a song, band, or album that represents a certain sound that you like and enter it as a radio station. The system then finds music that has similar "genes" in the pool of all the music that's been analyzed and plays them together as your station. As songs come along that you don't like, you can tag them with a thumb's-down so they won't get played again. The concept is brilliant.

I've been listening to Pandora Radio for at least a couple of years now and one of the best parts is discovering new songs or artists that have a sound that I really enjoy. That, and I get to listen to music that I enjoy without having to put together my own playlists (which I'm really bad at).

Wait, maybe the best part is that it's free. It's just like listening to any other radio station with a few adds here and there, but not too many. You can buy an add-free subscription, but I find the adds to be pretty low-key and they only play one add for every 20-30 minutes that I listen.

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