Music in the Box

Last night, Sarchasm told me about a fantastic way to discover new music. It’s called Pandora. The way it works is that you tell it what kind of music you like, starting with one song or artist. The programme will create a station, find songs in the Music Genome Project that are musically similar to the song you chose, and play it on your station. If you don’t like a song that comes up, then you tell it you don’t want to hear it again. It doesn’t stream songs on the basis of popularity or the genre to which the artist usually gets shoved into, it goes only by the music. Apparently their team have done an in-depth analysis of each song and given them attributes. These attributes form the criteria for song selection in the station you have created.

The site has music licenses as well, so it’s all legit. The first 10 hours of streaming music are free, and then there are two unlimited streaming options: quarterly (3 months for $12.00) or annual (12 months for $36.00). Dial-up users need not apply, as Pandora is only for broadband. There is an FAQ.

EDIT: There is now a free, ad-supported version of the Pandora player. No more time limits. See the FAQ for details.

  4 comments for “Music in the Box

  1. 15 October 2005 at 06:13

    Have you also checked on last.fm? It’s pretty cool because it actually tracks what you listen to and generates a “radio station” based on your own music collection. I like it purely for the ability to see what I listen to in pretty charts. But it’s also free, with some extra features if you donate. Pandora seems neat, but I don’t know that I need to pay even more money to support my music habit. I tried it out and thought it was neat. But not necessarily neat enough to pay for it.

  2. 15 October 2005 at 07:04

    Also Rhapsody has the ability to create radio stations, both based upon a single artist, and letting you select up to 10 artists for the station, and it plays those plus others “like it”. My list of To Buy CDs has grown to astonishing lengths thanks to that feature!

  3. 15 October 2005 at 21:39

    Now that’s really useful! Thanks for the link. I’m not sure I’d use this enough to pay for it – but I’m away from my music collection this weekend so this helps out nicely! Here’s my first station: http://www.pandora.com/?sc=sh994064 If you want to try out other peoples “stations” at random just change the number after the ‘?sc=sh’ to some other number and see what comes up.

    – steve

  4. 17 October 2005 at 13:30

    Cheers for the link, Tara. I have gone and made made a profile! The streaming radio based on musical taste seems a little less precise than Pandora (e.g. including songs which don’t sound close to my search criteria), but it’s still pretty good (and free, which is the best part). I think when I start banning some songs from the stream, the selection will become more refined.

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