What is Pandora Internet Radio?
For the past couple months I have been using the new Pandora Internet Radio Station. Pandora is a free service that streams music to your computer, the kicker, it creates a radio channel based on a specific artist and then plays relevant songs based on that artists style. For example, say you like Eric Clapton. Enter in Eric Clapton and Pandora will instantly start playing music from Eric Clapton’s collection and also other music that is similar to Clapton’s style. Pretty cool eh? It only gets better.
Its in the vote
So now your listening to some free music, and Pandora suggests a really bad song. “I don’t want to listen to this crap” you say. All you have to do is hover over the album cover art and press the thumbs down button. It will automatically skip the song and go onto a different one. There is also an option for thumbs up if you really like a song. Depending on how you vote, Pandora’s algorithm for choosing songs will now play songs tailored to similar songs that you like and will not play songs that you don’t like. Wow, thats sweet, it dives deep into each aspect of the song, the instruments, the tempo, the genre, and based on what you like, don’t like, and even what other people like, Pandora will come up with music, based on it’s algorithmic calculation, that you will enjoy.
Free Music? Ah, Targeted Advertising
Pandora is free, but with the addition of a full page advertisements that border the Pandora music player. Advertisements seem to range from promoting musical concerts to alcohol related advertisements. One thing thats interesting to think about is that Pandora knows an incredible amount of information about you. Sociologists can make accurate predicts based on what type of music you listen to, and Pandora knows exactly what music you like, and what music you don’t like, which enables them to place you in a very targeted demographic. As far as advertising, this is huge, since they can now show you highly targeted ads, based on your music style.
So far I have very few complaints of Pandora. I have been using it for the past 3 months, and it’s really nice to have someone else find new music for you. I’ve expanding my music intake, and have found new music that I would have never found before. One problem is that Pandora plays a lot of repeats, most of which I have “Thumbed Up”. They could expand their music collection, but they are in the middle of a large legal litigation over the right of internet radio. Overall though, give Pandora a try, and you probably will fall in love.