Internet radio has been around for years and years.
It was there when RealPlayer was the ultimate media application around.
It was there when streaming via a dial-up connection was cool.
It was there when I listened live to Michael Jordan sinking his final shot for the Bulls on NBA.com.
Over time, broadband got better, audio quality audio shot up, and internet radio stations of every imaginable genre started popping out all over the place. Pretty soon, you could fully customise your listening experience by picking stations that appealed to your tastes.
A quick background on the Music Genome Project:
This project was started by a group of musicians who listen to songs in order to analyse, and categorise everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics. Having done so for the past 5 years, they’ve analysed over 10,000 different artists.
What this means is that when I tell Pandora I like Tori Amos, it doesn’t just conclude that “I like Altenative Rock”.
It concludes that “I like mild, rhythmic syncopation, mixed acoustic and electronic instrumentation, major key tonality, a breathy female lead vocalist, and electric pianos”.
If I tell Pandora I like Nirvana, it doesn’t just conclude that “I like Grunge”
It concludes that “I like mild, rhythmic syncopation, repetitive melodic phrasing, minor key tonality, melodic songwriting, and a dynamic male vocalist”
You get the idea.
Radio Made Just For You (And Your Friends)
Once you sign up (Free of course) and type in the name of your favourite artist, Pandora will analyse your choice, and create your own station which streams songs based on what you typed in.
Now at any point during the stream, you can start telling Pandora whether you liked the song it selected or not. As you may have guessed, it further refines it’s choices based on your ratings.
It gets better. You can combine artist qualities. For example, I can create a Tori Amos stream, and then combine it with the qualities of Sarah McLachlan to better suit my tastes.
It gets better. Unlike typical internet radio, you can pause the stream, and you skip a song you don’t like.
All streams are high quality 128k, but I have had no problems streaming smoothly even with a low-speed broadband connection.
Of course what modern web service would be complete without the ability to share your music tastes? Pandora allows you to email a link of your streams to your friends, where they can listen in to your stream without registering, and they can also have a look at the type of songs you like.
…And One More Thing…
Best of all – You can create multiple streams. One stream for R&B, one for Rock, one for Jazz, etc. all fully customised to your exact tastes.
Seriously. It’s radio just for you.