I am on Pandora.com whenever I have the chance. I’m on it more than I sleep or eat. I even downloaded the app. to my iphone. So what is Pandora? And how does it do it?
If you are not familiar with Pandora, it is a free website with one “single mission: To play music you’ll love.” Oh yeah, so where’s the catch? I don’t know! I’ve been listening to great, free music for months now, exploring new artists, and genres. But the best part? I’ve only encountered one 30 second advertisement that plays in between songs.
So how is Pandora staying alive? I went to the site today to find a little more information and saw at the bottom of the page a “we’re hiring” tab. How in this economy? I am flabbergasted. How does Pandora pay their workers? How does Pandora get access to every genre, artist, song ever to exist? And how does Pandora give these gems away for free?
Is this some kind of sick joke? Will I be arrested for signing up to this great website for free?
Really, I don’t get it. But I know I love it.
Pandora started in 2000 and is based off of the Music Genome Project: “the most sophisticated taxonomy of musical information ever collected. It represents over eight years of analysis by our trained team of musicologists, and spans everything from this past Tuesday’s new releases all the way back to the Renaissance and Classical music.”
To begin listening, you choose either an artist or song you’re interested in listening to and “create a station.” From here, Pandora will play music within the similar genre of your chosen station. Pandora can learn to choose songs you love, have loved and will love by their rating system. To narrow down the music to your personal taste, Pandora has a thumbs up/thumbs down system. This allows Pandora to figure out your exact personal tastes, since no one else has exactly your taste in music. You can create as many “stations” as you like that will be saved on the website, and Pandora will remember what you liked and didn’t like from your previous sessions.
As if this isn’t good enough, hear about how they decided on their name. “Pandora means “all gifted” in Greek. In ancient Greek mythology, Pandora received many gifts from the Gods, including the gift of music, from Apollo. She was also, as we all know, very curious. Unlike those Gods of old, however, we celebrate that virtue and have made it our mission to reward the musically curious among us with a never-ending experience of music discovery.”
I give two thumbs up to Pandora.