Monday, February 23, 2009


One last post on the Music-ie theme. There are tons of places out there for you to look into new music. Of course there are links in Windows Media Player and of course you have the iTunes store with the Genius sidebar, intended to get you to purchase as much music as is possible. Some of the interfaces are quite intelligently done. For example, the Genius feature in iTunes is dedicated to telling you what kind of music is similar to your own and offering it up for your convenience.

With most on line music stores you can listen to snipits of music to see if you like it or not, but wouldn't it be great if there was a place you could explore music? To listen to it before you buy it. To find songs and artists of similar styles and be able to customize your listening and potentially purchasing experience?

Well such a place exists. It is It is a hybrid interent radio, music store experience. It has all the benefits of any online radio station although much more versatile. On Pandora, you create your own stations. Just type in an artist, song or multiple ones of each and you will get a music experience that is tailor made. It has all been made available thanks to the Music Genome Project. Check it out for more details, but essentially they pair up similar kinds of music. So, say you start a Jason Mraz station. Well the kind folks at Pandora will populate it not only with songs by Mraz, but also songs and artists that have a similar sound.

Now comes the hybrid portion of Pandora. While you are listening to Pandora you can "tag" songs or artists that you like. Say for instance you're listening to your Jason Mraz station and you hear Adele singing Cold Shoulder. You like it, so you tag it. That song is then stored for you, allowing you to go back at any time and purchase it either in an MP3 format via Amazon or on the iTunes music store (if you must). The cool thing about the Amazon MP3 store (which I highly recommend if you want to buy music online) is that through Pandora, you can buy all the songs you've taged with one quick stroke of the button.

Oh, one last thing. Systems like Squeezebox and Sonos can play Pandora directly. I don't know if you can use them to tag songs though, but if you could that would be awesome!

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