Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pandora in my ears tonight

I imagine my hordes of adoring readers see me as a simultaneously gruff and sophisticated free spirit. The kind of guy who fells a tree with his bare hands, then carves a chair out of the trunk with his teeth so that he can sit comfortably while reading high literature and sipping San Pellegrino.
Sadly, this is not the truth.

I've been a geeky dude a long time. In fact, I can't remember a time when I wasn't lusting for gadgetry or wanting a spaceship. There are hints of this in the blog. Most notably when I write whole posts about a computer, or compare different blogging softwares. A keen reader will note that I seem to be more and more involved in internet-related projects. This blog is a prime example, my use of Twitter is another. I find the way these projects integrate people as participants and architects wonderful as well as intriguing.

Anyway, I started this whole post because I wanted to talk about Pandora. Nate put me onto this recently and, despite its foreboding name, I am really enjoying it.


(During this short intermission, we'd like to present a re-enactment of the scene in which NATE tells MAX about PANDORA)

Nate: You should check this out. Its this web-app called Pandora...

Max: Uh-uh! No way! No way am I going anywhere near, or having anything to do with this "PANDORA" of which you speak!

Nate: But it...

Max: Dude! I've seen movies! I know mythology! Anything with a name like that is BAD NEWS. Forget it, lets get a ham.


Pandora is a web-based application, part of the Music Genome Project. It acts like an internet radio station that filters the output based on your selections. When starting a new "station" you're prompted to enter a band or song that you like. You'll then be fed a stream of songs, one after the other, that have something in common with the initial choice. These songs can be rated by the user, thats you, which changes the "content" of the "station." For instance, if you entered Frank Zappa as your initial favorite your ratings of the songs which followed could eventually have you listening to Rachmaninov or perhaps jazz quintets.

Its quite a fun little toy, and its letting me enjoy a wide variety of music that seems to be within the vein of things that I enjoy.

The whole thing is powered by the Music Genome Project, which seems to be an overly ambitious exercise in cross-indexing. But whatever, Pandora is fun and is giving me new tunes for free.

1 comment:

Barb said...

I like your new graphics, Max