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I’ve been trying out Pandora. It’s a Flash-based music player (first 10 hours are free), you enter an artist or a song that you like and it tries to find similar music for you. The data is based off the Music Genome Project which is described this way:

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.

Pandora’s interesting and while the songs do tend to resemble each other in a superficial sort of way, after an hour of listening I can’t say I’ve found anything I like. It seems “major key tonality, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation and extensive vamping” doesn’t really get to the heart of my musical taste.

Posted on - August 30, 2005 [at] 11:09 am by Brad
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3 Comments on this post

m on Pandora
April 14, 2006 at 3:15 pm

I gave a try for a week and found it to be a disappointment if not a complete scam. It throws out songs that have only the vaguest things in common. For example, Porcupine Tree and Lindsay Lohan (I’m not kidding) who both happen to have guitar. Most of the songs it offers are middle of the road mainstream pop from big labels with a very few unique artists thrown in at the rate of about one every few hours. It is a very good concept but is not sincerely or rigorously implemented. I’m going to give a try.

thehipcola on Pandora
April 16, 2006 at 1:18 pm

Hmm…I think Pandora is great, rarely have the kinds of results M gets. But I’m rarely looking for Lindsay Lohan type music… :) I find it introduces me to stuff I’ve never heard of regularly. Maybe that’s a function of the darker genres I’m working with there.

M on Pandora
April 16, 2006 at 2:28 pm

My point was that Porcupine Tree and Lindsay Lohan have little in common. I was looking for music similar to Porcupine Tree and it gave me Lindsay Lohan. I am not simply interested in “stuff I’ve never heard of”. I am interested in tools that help me filter the “stuff I’ve never heard of” to find music related to my tastes. After trying Pandora with a broad variety of genres I found little “stuff I’ve never heard of” and even less music of the styles I was looking for. Perhaps I should have tried “darker genres” like death metal or buffy the vamplre slayer…;)

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