Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pandora Plug

I'm not exactly on the leading edge of technology. It was literally years after DVDs became available that I finally got a DVD player. And the one I did get cost $1 as it came as part of a cell phone sign up bonus. And the cell phone is a bare bones phone.

So this is hardly breaking technology news, but I wanted to put in a plug for Pandora internet radio.

The way it works is that it initially asks you for a "seed" artist or song, and then it picks songs based on that seed and streams them to you. You can set up separate radio stations seeded with different songs and artists, and a given station can have multiple seeds, and I just love it. As songs play you can "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" them, which will alter the parameters and tune the playlist to more what you want for that station.

I've got 8 stations so far, tailored for styles from Bruce Cockburn to Sonic Youth to Edgar Winter ("Frankenstein"!).

Pandora solved a vexing problem for me. I like music, but I despise commercial radio with its mass merchandized playlists and juvenile DJs. I literally gave up on it over 6 years ago. Public radio is overwhelmingly classical, except for Philadelphia's WXPN, which I enjoyed when I lived up there (they're on the Web, but I was looking for more variety).

So I could buy songs I knew from artists I knew, but how am I going to hear anything new then? I could catch the musical guests on the late night talk shows or SNL, but that's only a very limited number of venues.

With Pandora, though, having access to music old and new, they give me the exposure to the new artists and songs that fit my tastes; and conversely give those artists exposure to a potential new fan.

Highly recommended!


Graeme said...

I used to listen to Pandora, and I loved it, but due to licensing constraints, they had to prohibit customers outside the US. Since I am in Canada, I'm now out of luck.

Just an FYI to other non-American readers.

gumtree said...

I too listened to Pandora often and, I too, loved it. But, I too, live outside of US (Australia) and, I too, now cannot listen to it.