Pandora Internet Radio

Music is a very personal experience, and the folks at Pandora understand this. That’s why they created the Music Genome Project. Six years in the making, the Music Genome Project involves 30 musician-analysts listening to thousands of songs and placing them into unique categories based on melody, harmony, rhythm, vocalsâÂ?¦etc. In 2006 the project was officially launched on www.Pandora.com.

What’s so great about Pandora?

Firstly, it’s free to join. Users can create a profile and store up to 100 “stations” based on a particular band of interest, and each song that follows will have elements similar to the chosen artist’s. For example, in a search for REO Speedwagon, the musician analysts included in the band’s station music with “basic rock song structures, a subtle use of vocal harmonies, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation, a vocal-centric aesthetic and major key tonality.” One of the songs chosen by the analysts was Fleetwood Mac’s “Go your own way” because it shares the above elements. To show how expansive the music of the project encompasses, a search for Depeche Mode turns up songs that have “electronic influences, subtle use of vocal harmony and synthetic sonority.” Eighties one-hit wonders A-Ha are one of the artists chosen in comparison to Depeche Mode’s sound, as they also have an electronic sound and use synthesizers.

Another perk of joining Pandora is the option of bypassing a song if the user doesn’t like it. During a song’s play, one can click on an animated thumbs up to keep a song on a station, or thumbs down if they never want to hear it again. There’s also the option of having the question “Why is this song playing” answered if a listener feels that it sounds nothing like the original artist. As previously mentioned, this is an on-going effort, so questions are welcomed regarding the site as well as suggestions for artists and songs to be included in the Project. What can be more rewarding than being part of a living project that has set out to entertain millions of Internet users?

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