14 Nov 2005, 03:59

Discover music

A new tool I’ve just stumbled across in my Galactus-like quest to consume more and more of the musical universe is Pandora, an offshoot of the ambitious sounding Music Genome Project. They seem to offer a different approach to the typical “recommend-if-you-like” method of comparing artists. Rather than trying to just say “this artist sounds like these other artists”, Pandora tries to go a level deeper and actually examine the fundamental characteristics of individual songs to more accurately help you find music similar to other music that you like. It then creates a station that plays a stream of that music. For example, it lists a song by The Arcade Fire as featuring “basic rock song structures, punk influences, mild rhythmic syncopation, a subtle use of vocal harmony, and major key tonality” and then finds other songs that match many of those characteristics. That’s a pretty tall order, and while it’s obviously not possible encapsulate every thing that makes up a song in those terms, it does seem to do a decent job of finding similar stuff. Not everything is spot on, but considering what a subjective experience music enjoyment is in the first place that’s only to be expected. All that really matters is that I’ve already found a couple of new things that I like and it never hurts to have another tool for finding new music.


Comment by Neal on 2005-11-13 21:51:14 +0000

My mind has been boggled!

Comment by Neal on 2005-11-14 11:02:12 +0000

I’ve been listening to pandora most of the morning, and I am hooked.

Also, is it wrong to wish that E-Music had a plan that would give me more than 90 songs per month?

Comment by Will on 2005-11-14 18:28:51 +0000

Not at all. At least I hope not. I often find myself wishing the same thing. Sometimes I give in and buy a booster pack or two, but they’re more expensive than the subscription prices. I find that if I get a lot more than 90 tracks a month though, I don’t really listen to all of them as much as I’d like before the next month’s songs are available. So it works out well as a balance to help me evaluate the stuff I get and figure out what I like and what I don’t before moving on to the next batch of new stuff.