Pandora Presents at the Urban Saloon

At the risk of repeating myself, Brian and I had a lot of fun on Wednesday night at the Urban Saloon in Philadelphia talking with Pandora users at the Pandora Presents get together.

Pandora, ( http://pandora.com ) for those of you who might not know, is an online music service that allows you to log in and create ‘radio stations’ that you program to your own tastes.

In Pandora, in each station, you start with a song, and as a song finishes, another song starts. You thumbs-up songs that you like, and you thumbs-down songs that you don’t.  Each vote shapes the musical taste in your radio station. By voting, you also inform the Music Genome Project about someone who likes songs a, b, and f, but not g, j, or t.

The more users who vote, the more likely that the music that Pandora suggests for you to listen to (tuned by you and influenced by others who tune their stations in similar ways) is enjoyable, interesting, and surprising.

They also allow people to advertise their stations to others, and create multiple stations, so I might have a lemasney approved jazz station, a rock based holiday songs station, and a drum and bass club mix. Or, I could just find others’ existing shared stations that meet those needs.

They also just recently added classical music to the stations, so the music is becoming more and more diverse, just the way we like it.
It’s a fun way to listen to music, a great way to find new sounds that you are likely to enjoy, and a great form of social collective work that influences on both an individual and a group level.

Special thanks to Kevin Seal, the host of the evening, and Chris McGrew, for stopping by to converse with Technology and the Arts. Go, Griddle!

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