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Pandora: web-based music service that finds your favorites

pandoraFirst off, it is nowhere near public yet. In fact, it is an invitation-only affair at this point (so where's mine Tom?). But according to good ol' Robert Scoble, it could just be the Next Big Thing. At least, as far as music online is concerned. Essentially Pandora takes just a sliver of data, like a song or artist, and builds an entire station around your preference. As you listen you can further fine-tune your station, building more around genres. Up to 100 of your own stations, pulled from over 300,000 songs from over 10,000 artists. And you don't have to install anything. If it really works it just might be as cool as it sounds. Now wouldn't it be cool if a wireless iPod let you do the same? Or satellite radio?

UPDATE: Well Tom was kind enough to send me an invite, and I checked out Pandora. For those of you thinking this is just some stroll down genre lane, I say you ain't seen nothin' yet. See, once you've set up one song, the Music Genome Project kicks in. It picks another song based on the music itself, not just the artist or genre. Services like Last.fm or even iTunes of Launchcast aren't comparable. It is a subtle difference, and one you really have to try yourself to understand. When I chose John Coltrane as my artist pick, it chose a pretty mellow tune. As I went to another song it explained why it chose a similarly mellow tune (by a different artist). Pandora actually looks at the components of the song, not just metadata. I was quite impressed, and I'm an iTunes junkie. I also should mention you can buy the songs you hear via iTunes or Amazon. Can't wait until it's public...

 

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