The Joy of Pandora

Circa 1999, I saw the movie 10 Things I Hate About You.

I so loved the band in the movie that I had to wait through the credits to track down who they were. Their name was Letters to Cleo. I picked up the soundtrack and have their two tracks from the movie in high rotation on my media player.

The other day, John introduced me to Pandora. It is a free music service that is linked to the Music Genome Project. You create your own radio station by typing in the names of your favorite artists. Pandora plays those artists, and begins to suggest others based on your tastes. You then have the opportunity to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” the song. The more time you spend with Pandora, the more it learns your tastes.

Today, after only a few hours of listening, Letters to Cleo popped up. I didn’t know they had an album. In fact, aside from my obsession with their two tracks on the 10 Things soundtrack, I had mostly forgotten them. (Sorry Cleo.) Pandora also unearthed a favorite track from an obscure Sixpence None the Richer album, when I hadn’t even remembered to tell Pandora that I loved them and had all of their releases.

I know that there are other players with a similar approach. (I was big into Launch a few years ago.) The difference with Pandora is that they don’t force users to listen to obnoxious commercials, and it is stunningly good at quickly picking up on your taste.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, I also found out how to link Pandora to Facebook.

The digital world is completely and totally amazing.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall