Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Pandora Is the Coolest Thing EVER!




I was reading blogs, playing online poker, waiting for my DNS stuff to work itself out when I found this post by Keith Brown:

If you’ve not checked out Pandora, you should. I was just thinking the other day that I’d like to expand my music collection, and this is an excellent way to find other music that you like. But even better, once you’ve taught it your preferences, you can just minimize it and have a commercial-free radio feed with sounds that you enjoy, and it’s not all the same stuff you’ve been listening to for the last 10 years. The Music Genome Project behind is such a natural thing that it’s brilliant. Kudos to the folks behind it!

Oh, and you can listen to stations that your friends create, if you know their email address.

Sounds pretty interesting, eh? Not sure what to expect, I surfed on over to Pandora to see what was going on.

It begins by asking me to enter an artist or a song name to get started. I said Tool. (I love all of Maynard’s work.)

And it started pumping out music.&nbsp_place_holder;I “educated” it a bit, telling it that I also like Porcupine Tree, AC/DC, Soundgarden, Pelican, Kyuss and a few others. As it threw amazing tunes at me, I could give them thumbs up or thumbs down, just like with TiVo.

And in less than an hour, this thing had me dialed. Here is a sampling of some of the music it picked for me that I had never heard of before:

  • “Resurface” by Tides
  • “Last Nanosecond” by Zeni Geneva
  • “Best Case Scenario” by Mortal Treason
  • “Wall of Shame” by Course of Nature
  • “Song for Turner” by The&nbsp_place_holder;Major Stars
  • “Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla” by Collapsar
  • “Aquachimp” by Suzukiton
  • “Phantom #1” by The Major Stars

You can also do really cool things like click on a song and make a whole new station that is inspired by just that one song. At one point I selected the “Why did you play this song?” menu item. It said something like this:

Based on what you’ve told us so far, were playing this track because it features hard-rock roots, a subtle use of vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation, a vocal-centric aesthetic and minor key tonality.

Another time, during a nice instrumental hard-rock/metal tune, I asked again and it said:

Based on what you’ve told us so far, we’re playing this track because it features hard rock roots, the use of experimental sounds, mild rhythmic syncopation, repetitive melodic phrasing and extensive vamping.

As I said at the beginning. Wow. I don’t know if I need anything else anymore. This combined with my new Etymotic ER-6i earbuds and I’m golden.