Posts Tagged ‘Music Genome Project’

Listening to Pandora’s Box

PandoraWhy do we like the music that we like? That is the question explored by Rob Walker in a great piece in this week’s New York Times Magazine about the Internet radio station Pandora. Pandora attempts to deconstruct the music you like and find similar songs to match your taste, without any nonmusical filters whatsoever.

I’ve already sung the praises of listening to the radio, but that has some major drawbacks: annoying DJs, repetitive set lists, lots and lots of commercials. Pandora, however, presents itself as something of a solution to these problems (they still have commercials, but only like 15 seconds worth every four songs, not the five minutes worth every three on the radio). 

Here’s how it works: You go to the website (or you get their app, which is more common, but my cell phone is from late 2008, so I can’t do that yet) and enter a song* or artist you like. From that, Pandora will construct a radio station around similar songs. You can approve or disapprove of every song, and with each judgment, the radio station refines its idea of your taste. Continue reading