Monday, July 2, 2007

Opening PANDORA's Box

For those who love our Elegant Simplicity column, you'll know that we think music is a key to happiness in life.

Well, for many of us, we're rather disgruntled with music choices - even cable radio doesn't cut it. I want stations that are defined by MY choices - not someone elses. Yet, I don't want to have to pay a lot for it (not that I haven't - I own way too many CD's).

Check this out:

Wow! Anyone who loves music and freedom in music choices will love this:

You can create your own music station by - get this - typing in an artist or song. Pandora then searches the Genome and dials up the music that is similar to that artist for you. Not perfect, but pretty good. And, it will also let you say "nope, not what I wanted." Although, frankly, they hit my goals about 85% of the time, which is good enough for me for a free-form mix that fits "genre" to the point I want to define it.

I created Zuco 103 station (for brazilian/acid jazz), they got it right, so I tried Miles Davis, and Pandora dialed up some straight-ahead jazz with a mix of fusion, which was what I wanted. If I had just wanted straight-ahead, I probably would have chosen something like Clifford Brown or Hank Mobley. Of course, I also dialed up a "stan getz" radio station.

Next, I dialed up world music with Africantus, then tried out a little Jack Johnson and G Love stations. Classical, same success. I also created a Frank Sinatra Station. Sly & Family Stone, and more. Heaven in music station choices. Finally.

Ahh.. it makes cable radio look as bad as those radio stations on the dial!

Of course, coupled with some hardware like this:
Puts a whole new meaning on "got a squeeze box daddy doesn't sleep at night!"

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