Outside the box? It must be Pandora

I’ve been hanging out at Pandora Internet Radio, pretty much every time I go online for the past six months. I’ve marked my life out in songs and music and Pandora is a nice antedote to becoming too closeted in one’s tastes as, once you set up an account you have access to so much stuff.
So when I set up an Ali Farka Toure radio station I suddenly had access to a wider range of African musicians I hadn’t come across before.
Pandora is the brainchild of the Music Genome Project – which they claim is the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. MGP says: “Together our team of 50 musician-analysts have been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song.
“It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more - close to 400 attributes!
“We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.”
Which all sounds a bit too gushing and wanky for my taste but I do like the service. Basically it’s a musical aggregator and allows you to discover new music based on you existing interests – so I have several feeds from Ali Farka Toure to The Ramones to Bob Dylan to The Tower of Power (remember them – 1970s funksters?). Right now its playing And There You Go by Vin Rogue (never heard of them) but they are a bit like a prog-rock Gojan Project.
What I don’t get is how they are bypassing all the copyright stuff?


JC said... does similar kinds of stuff too (I'm 'easyrun' in there). Although it's curious that it can't recommend another artist that is similar to Lloyd Cole

And for the life of me I can't recall why I've subscribed to your blog feed in my google reader - I'll continue to read though.

HackFlack said...

I agree, Ian, Pandora is wonderful, and for many months, it was the background to everything I did.

Until I discovered Last.Fm. That does a very similar job, but is British - not American. I'm not being xenophobic here, but a lot of the bands I've been into over the years never got beyond our fair isle.

There are some other important differences too, but you should give it a try.

Ian Green said...


thanks man. Funnily enough I used to work with Lawrence Donegan after he gave up pop (he was bass player with Lloyd Cole & the Comms)to move into journalism with the Northern Echo.
He now writes a golfing column for the Guardian.
I'll check out and thanks for tip. I can't recall why you subscribed to me feed either - but persevere.


Ian Green said...

Hi HackFlack,

Thanks for the tip. You're the second person to tip me at Last.FM and I will be sure to check it out. What I like about Pandora is the back catalogue of old US stuff - blues, folk, jazz etc. But like you I agree that there is nothing wrong with being partisan.
Are you Manchester based? We might be hiring soon and are always interested in talent.


Jeremy Jacobs said...

Ian, How do you get round the "put in your valid USA zip - code" problem?

Ian Green said...


I don't recall it being a problem - I just registered with my UK address.


HackFlack said...

Just stumbled across another similar service, this time run by UK radio station, XFM.

I've yet to give it a proper trial myself yet (having only just found it) but if you look at the xfm+ section of the Xfmmanchester website, you'll find more there.

I guess that also answers your previous question as well.

Happy listening!