Pandora Radio

What a great find! Pandora Radio allows anyone to create her own radio stations based on the type of music she likes. I started last night with Miles Davis Radio. As I mentioned at the end yesterday’s entry, the first song up was “Freddy Freeloader,” totally appropriate because the service is free. Pandora supports itself with display ads. Netflix interrupts occasionally with a few seconds of audio, but it’s not intrusive. A premium Pandora ($36 a year) eliminates the ads. It may be my Christmas present to myself.

So after the intro number, Miles Davis Radio played ’Tranes’ “Too Young To Go Steady,” followed by Cannonball’s “Autumn Leaves,” the predictable “Take Five,” followed by one of my favorite jazzmen of all time, Freddy Hubbard, playing “Birdlike.” I was expecting something by Charlie Parker next.

All terrific, but I was disappointed because there was nothing new here. In fact it was stuff that I’ve heard over and over. The site promises “discovery,” i.e., new artists or songs based on selections one chooses. Maybe as I listen I’ll get something besides the ubiquitous standards. The folks at Pandora Radio have a complicated method for figuring out what listeners like based on algorithms and analysis by musicians and musicologists, but it seems the jazz repertoire is pretty limited at this point.

On the plus side, I can do quick reviews by clicking little boxes that say, “I liked this song,” or, “I didn’t like this song.” When I got tired of the walk down memory lane and said I didn’t like Duke Ellington’s “Rain Check,” a little box popped up that said, “We will never play that song on this station again.” Wow! That’s power! Wonder if I can change my mind later?

In prep for the morning’s work, I set up Antonin Dvorák Radio and happily listened all day to Dvorák, some Brahms, Saint Saëns. The only thing I axed was Beethoven’s Fifth just because I am so-o-o tired of it. Here I did discover that Fauré speaks to me in a way that I never recognized before.

For my third station, as I wanted to relax last evening, I set up Alicia Keys radio. This one gave me Rhinna, Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men, and Mariah Carey, to whom I said no thanks.   Otherwise, the music was good, and I did hear new stuff.

The site also has internal links to help one manage the music with bios of the composers and bookmarks for favorite songs. A pullout window lists the genres – alternative, classical, electronic, holiday (oh, dear, not yet), new age (I’ll pass unless I’m doing Reiki), R&B, blues, country (no thanks), folk, jazz, oldies, reggae, Christian, dance (great for workouts), hip hop (ditto if one doesn’t listen to the lyrics), Latin, pop, and rock.  For the electronically overloaded, there is a video option and ways to hook to mobile media.

Larry laughed at my new toy, but it sure made the work day easier since I didn’t have to switch among classical stations every time some screechy soprano began wailing.

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One Response to “Pandora Radio”

  1. Music Update « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] By lizr128 About a year ago I wrote about Pandora Radio. I became a bit disillusioned when I learned that Pandora cuts off or charges after 40 hours in a […]

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