Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pandora - Does it really find music you'll love?

What is Pandora? It's a music discovery service with a very powerful back-end, the music genome project. You create custom music stations and within each station you state artists and/or songs that you like. From the information you provide Pandora goes away and selects not only the music you've stated but music of a similar style. As the music plays you can choose to tell Pandora if you like the song being played or dislike it. If you like a song it'll be played more often, if you dislike a song it'll never be played again. The more information you provide about your preferences the more accurately the station will match your tastes. Once you've created your free user account your musical preferences are saved and can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection for you to enjoy at a lovely 128kbps.

So that's the theory but does it work in practise? I must admit that when I discovered Pandora a couple of months ago I dismissed it as just another streaming internet radio station. It is of course far more than that. Since revisiting it I've become hooked. It really does work. You'll get a couple of your favourite songs or songs by artists you like followed by some tracks by artists selected by Pandora. If you get a string of songs you dislike it'll play one of your favourite tracks again to get things back on track. What is really nice is when you rediscover a song that you'd forgotten about, that's where this service really seperates itself from the competition. Ideally you shouldn't mix too many styles within one station, that tends to mess up the system. Keeping your stations within certain styles will help the Pandora system find similar music that you'll enjoy.

The catalogue of music within Pandora is certainly pretty deep. Hopefully as time goes by it'll continue to become deeper and more varied. Pandora is a great idea that's been really well implemented. If you just want music you like then I still suggest listening to your own music collection but if you're away from your collection or fancy finding some new music then that's where Pandora comes in. If you've not used the service yet then I suggest you check it out. It really does find music you'll love. . .


At 10:40 am, Blogger James said...

I'm going to second that recommendation. Pandora is, quite simply, one the best sites *ever*!


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