Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pandora's Box Opened - Several Years Late

I stopped by my co-worker's office this morning and he had Pandora.com up on his browser. I had never heard of the site and asked him what it was. He explained that the site is an Internet radio provider that builds custom "stations" for you based on your musical taste and personal preferences. I immediately went back to my office to check it out for myself. I was instantly hooked on the perfect song choices that were made based on my initial band selections. I especially enjoyed creating a Music Score channel that catered to my love of cinematic soundtracks.

Unbeknownst to me, Pandora has been around for a few years now and produces one of the most popular iPhone applications. I completely missed the boat on this one and had been listening to my iPod primarily for the past few years (and Sirius streaming radio before that). What makes Pandora more appealing than Sirius or other Internet radio offerings is the algorithm used by the Music Genome Project which looks at the tones and characteristics of a preferred song to suggest similar sounding tracks. You can build an arsenal of customized themed stations to match your listening preference. And since I have an wide range of musical taste (anything except country) I see myself building numerous station choices. I've embedded my profile widget on this page in case anyone wants to see the pitiful station lineup I've created in less than 24 hours.

For those of you who use Pandora (and judging by the multiple comments on my Facebook status today, most of you do) and have not upgraded to the Pandora One service, I highly recommend it. I just did it tonight and am using the Adobe AIR desktop application (shown at right) to listen to music in my system tray. This way there are no ads, listening limitations and the quality is better than listening through the browser. The price is a respectable $36 for a yearly subscription. That's 3 bucks a month for unlimited music on your PC or phone. Now that I'm not limited to the thousands of songs on my iPod I'm pretty sure I'll get my money's worth over the next year. Hopefully as social networking continues to take off I won't find myself missing a boat like this one again.

1 comment:

Doe said...

Very surprising that you hadn't heard of Pandora before, nerd.