“People don’t lose their love of music, they lose their ability to connect with it.” – Tim Westergren
I love music. I love to listen to music, play music, and find new music. Years ago, when I was a student at Wright State University, I used to love to spend hours sifting through the bins at the CD Connection for undiscovered treasures. Alas, the free time available to not only shop for records, but to sit down and listen to them has evaporated. Repeatedly I have found myself saying, “I wish I had something new to listen to, but most of the new music I am hearing on the radio is awful.” Tim Westergren knew a lot of people with this same problem, so he decided to try to solve it. His solution, Pandora and the Music Genome Project. I thought about trying to explain it myself but thought it better to defer to Tim’s own words.
“We set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or “genes” into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song – everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It’s not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records – it’s about what each individual song sounds like.”
Since discovering Pandora a few months ago, I have enjoyed music from bands I love, bands I forgot that I love, and bands I never heard of, but now love. The best part is that the more that you listen and interact with the program, the better it seems to get at choosing music that is suited to your tastes. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that you can create your own station for FREE. They have a pay version that offers more options, but the free one is outstanding. For bringing me the daily gift of music I say Thank You to Tim Westergren.
If you would like to learn more about Pandora, Fast Company magazine featured an excellent article about it. It is how I discovered it. Voice your opinion on Pandora here by leaving a comment.