Monday, January 10, 2011

Pandora Radio

Whoever invented Pandora Radio is a genius, or at least very skilled at making people happy. For those who don't know, Pandora is an online, customizable music player that you can program with music that you like, and it will provide other music and songs that you may like according to specific criteria. They have some sort of formula that takes into account music style, vocals, instruments, and a ton of other factors in deciding what kind of music you already listen to, and what you might appreciate.

And appreciate it I do. Even with the occasional advertisement, Pandora gives me music to fill my life. I'm too much of a miser to actually spend money on iTunes, so I get my music other places (legally, I might add). Also, there's something incredibly fun about putting your ears in the control of a computerized program that decides what you shall listen to based on some sort of formula or algorithms. I've never thought of music like that before. Usually it's how it sounds, or what other people are listening to, that influences the listeners. With Pandora, it's from what you already like, but objectively, not subjectively. A bit of a takeoff from traditional musicology, in my opinion. I could be totally off base here, but as far as I know music was (and should be) about achieving sound and a connection with the listener.

Pandora's changing that, but not in a bad way. The listener still gets a connection, but it's with themselves. Bits of personality get embedded in the music you listen to, and bits also come out, influenced by music. It's like telling a circular story, but with a different ending each time. And if you don't like the ending, you can simply click the thumbs down button, and viola! you've got a new ending. Happy music listening times are here to stay.

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