I've fallen in loveâ€¦ with Pandora
I recall checking out Pandora a few years ago. I liked it, but there were so many social music applications coming out at the time that it didn’t really stick with me.
Well, I probably should have stuck with it because its current incarnation is stunning. There are several reasons why.
It’s easy. This is huge because for something like music â€“ a “product” that’s available in so many places and that will be deployed as background entertainment as I do my online media cultist activities â€“ it has to be super easy and super quick. I’m looking for great music, quickly and easily, and Pandora delivers on that straight off.
It’s powerful. Once you log into Pandora, you’re invited to “Create a New Station.” This is the killer app part. The idea is that you plug in the name of a band or a song and it programs songs that are similar, using terminology such as”vocal harmony (antiphony), interweaving vocal harmony, and mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation” in the example of a Less Than Jake song.
I started out by plugging in the name of the band Mad Caddies, one of my favorite ska bands that I’ve discovered over the last few years. A few Mad Caddies songs played through, which was nice, but then I was blown away by how well the recommendation engine matched similar artists that I wasn’t familiar with. So much so in fact that I was prompted to begin a list of albums that I needed to buy at some point, such as from the bands The Urge, Pepper, and Catch 22.
It’s addictive. Now hooked, I fired up new stations by such artists as Frank Black, Wu-Tang Clan, R.E.M., Suicide Machines, and The Hives. In all cases, I got the same great experience. A QuickMix mode lets you play all of your stations at once. Additionally, I should note that you can give a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to each song, further instructing the engine of your specific interests. Further, you can simply click to the next song anytime you get bored (which to me is one of the greatest features of all). There’s also a fun feature that allows you to hit the “snooze button” on a song for a month.
It’s info rich. If you want it, there’s a great deal of information easily accessible about bands, albums, artists, and a whole social side of what “fans” are saying and listening to, if you’re into that end of things.
Pandora confirms yet again that music and the web are made for one another. Music is more popular than ever, of course; it’s the industry that’s getting revolutionized as people are demanding and getting more of what they want when they want it.
Meanwhile I need to get back to checking out an album by Spoon called Telephono / Soft Effects.