If you own a smart phone, chances are pretty good you’ve downloaded the Pandora Internet music service app onto it. And whether you enjoy the music from your mobile device or on your desktop, you’re in good company with the more than 60 million people who now use the service. I started enjoying it pre-iPod/mp3 music players to find new music I liked and to be able to listen to all kinds of music at once, instead of just what was on the radio.
Founded by Tim Westergren in 2000, the popular service tailors Internet radio stations that you create based on your musical likes and dislikes. It compares those with the 600,000 songs it has analyzed as part of its “Music Genome Project” and generates songs for your station, some familiar and some that are probably new to you.
Now Pandora is offering “genre stations” of songs based on musical genre. You can launch a station by choosing “alternative” or “Christian” or “hip hop” and then narrowing down your interests even more. As you like or dislike songs on these stations, you can keep personalizing the station and let it play in the background while you work.
To get started, go to http://www.pandora.com type in a song or an artist, hit play and your station is off and running, playing familiar artists or ones that Pandora predicts you’ll like based on your choices. If you like a song, tag it with a “thumbs up,” and it will adjust the station accordingly. The same goes for “thumbs down.”
I realize that if you have an iPhone or an Android, or even a desktop computer on which you listen to music, you probably know all this, but it doesn’t hurt to recap. And now that selecting genre is an option, you’re halfway to a robust radio station.
And once you’ve signed up for Pandora, while you’re on the site, you might even learn something else about music, such as what a “g-funk synth line” is in the site’s glossary.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org)