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Pandora Internet Radio – Find Music You Like!

July 13, 2006 | 1 Minute Read


So I guess this has been around for a while, and I tried it a long time ago and forgot about it. Pandora is this online radio thing. You give it an artist or a song that you like, and Pandora creates a radio station that plays music it thinks you’ll like. For instance, I made a “Toasters” radio station, and it mostly plays ska. The idea is that you’ll find new music you’ll like and buy tons.

It seems like their algorithm is pretty complicated:

Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or “genes” into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song – everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It’s not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records – it’s about what each individual song sounds like.

It’s actually done a pretty good job of finding music I like. The Aquabats station plays a lot of music I already own and like. The other songs are okay too.

After playing with it for a few days, I have a few complaints. First, they repeat themselves way too much. I’ve heard The Toaster’s “Can I Get Another” like, four times already! Next, they only let you skip so many songs every hour. You can get around this by making more than one station and switching them (which will play a new song!).

Other than the weak variety of songs, Pandora seems to work pretty well. It’s at least nice to have free music that you’ll probably like streaming automatically.