Why You Should Listen to Pandora

Let me explain why Tim Westergren (aka the founder of Pandora) is awesome.

You may have already listened to it or heard about it, but after hearing the explanation, I can appreciate it a hell of a lot more. He came to my school and spoke about Pandora and the Music Genome Project and what exactly goes on to create them. He started the Music Genome Project which basically anylizes a song and defines it using 400(!!!) different characteristics including range of the singers voice, the instrumentation, the tempo, use of major or minor keys, and more musical terms and characteristics than anyone should ever know. About 50 music "experts" identify the "genes" of each song. They spend 15-40 minutes on just ONE song. He even said he was crazy for thinking about it. Pandora is an online radio thing that will base a station off an artist or a song and base the rest of the songs off the qualities that are encompassed in the artist or song. Then you can see why that song was chosen and you can say if you liked it or not, and it will keep that in mind for the rest of the radio station. It's amazing.

One other VERY important thing that Tim emphasized was that the songs are grouped by genre necessarily or some sort of cultural group: it's all about the quality of the music. This way good independent artists who are just as good as those who are already famous can be on the same musical level and can have just as much exposure. Anyone can send a song to them and it can be processed to see if it can be added to their playlists. It's all about the music and nothing else.

As a musician and a music fan, I think that this concept and project is something that needs to be supported. So go listen! It's also free.


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