I am very bad about finding new music: I’ll buy new albums from artists I know I love, but that’s about it. However that has all changed now I have discovered Pandora. Pandora is based on the Music Genome Project, which is basically a huge music database indexed by aspects of the songs themselves. Pandora uses this to create custom “radio stations” based on an artist or song you like.
Its a Flash application, and I just told it to create a station about my favorite musician – Sting. Obviously it played some songs by him, but many of the songs it plays are from other artists whose music the database considers structuraly similar to Sting’s. Probably 80% of these other songs it plays I really like. When a song is playing you can tell Pandora if you don’t like it (when it will quit playing it and find another), if you do like it, and ask it to add to your Favorites list.
In no time at all Pandora played several songs that I have heard and love but never known who they were, so I immediately added them to Favorites to buy them later. You can also go straight to Amazon (or that other famous online music store from the fruit company) from the player if you wish.
I run this all the time at work now, though it would be nice if it was a proper Windows application instead of a flash page: I’d like the Pause key to work from my keyboard for example. My only other quibble is that though basic Pandora accounts are free, this will cost me money in the long run as I’m just going to have to buy some more music.