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Pandora's Box

For a few years now I have been toying with an idea. I have been trying to come up with a better way to organize music based on the mood it conveys. Something so subjective is very difficult to nail down, but the Music Genome Project has come up with something very similar and very cool indeed. It is called Pandora and this cool new web application seeks to answer the question "Can you help me discover more music that I'll like?" The way it works is that they have basically profiled tens of thousands of songs with help from the user community on traits like "mild rythmic syncopation" and "electric guitar riffs", etc. The tool tries to figure out songs that you might like by matching the traits of songs or artists that you feed into the application. All you need to do is go to http://www.pandora.com and follow the simple instructions in the flash application. First, enter the name of an artist or title in the text box and click create. I chose Maritime which I have been listening to a lot lately. The engine looks up the song and it's profile then plays a sample to make sure it found the right thing. If your entry is not specific enough it gives you options to narrow down on the right group or song. After that song has played through or when you click on the next button it will play other songs that match the profile of the artist or song you selected. You can help the engine by clicking on the "Guide Us" button and selecting one of the options. I tried setting up several different "stations" as they are called in Pandora and had good results every time. I found music that I liked that I would not have found otherwise. The audio quality was very good and right now they seem to have plenty of bandwith because my streams opened up almost immediately. The best part of course is that the ad supported version is free. They also have a paid version with no ads for $36/year or $12/3 months. So go ahead and open Pandora's box because the more people that use this great new tool the better it will become.

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