Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pondering Pandora

With over 48 million users you might have heard of Pandora, the online music listening and selection website that caters to your individual music tastes. It is a part of the Music Genome project and it is centered on the user experience and tries to match music to your interests. For example if you type “Elvis Christmas Music”, Pandora will create a special music stations for you that steams music that is all similar to Elvis Christmas music. If you hear a song you don’t like press a thumbs down button and you will never hear it again. Neato burrito!

You can create a music station to fit all of your moods because Pandora lets you make up to 100 individual stations. It also lets you create a user profile and share all of your unique music stations and finds with your friends. The service is also compatible with up to 200 different internet accessible devices, so you can stream music from your Iphone, Nook, home computer, Playstation 3, Wii, X-Box 360, or any other device you can think of. In the car I stream Pandora through my cellphone and then hook it up to my car stereo (sort of like an Ipod).

Why do I love this service? As a librarian I want to give patrons access to the largest amount of information and experience possible for free. Pandora lets you sample new music, learn about the musicians, and even search for concert tickets in your area, and it has a FREE option. You can sign up for an account and listen to 40 free hours of music a month. (Don’t worry no tricks here, there is no credit card required for sign up, they don’t even ask for your address or telephone number.) If you want unlimited streaming music there are subscription services available.

I have over 35 stations and have never used my 40 hours of streaming music in a month. Now I have music to listen to when I clean the house, have a dinner party, or have people over for the holidays. I have discovered some neat new artists that I adore like Iron and Wine, Thievery Corporation, and a few other titles. Though those bands might not be your cup of tea, I bet you can find your own flavor!

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