Update: Opera 9 has a widget for Pandora. I’ve got it set to always on top and stuck it in the corner of my secondary monitor. I’ll keep it there for now while I’m refreshing my knowledge of artist names and song titles.
Jeff told Rob, and Rob told me to try out Pandora’s new music service. Based on an artist’s name or song title that you provide, Pandora searches the Music Genome Project to find other music you might like. Each song in the database is described by a series of musical attributes like beat style, modal harmonies, tonal harmonies, synth riffs, highly synthetic sonority, trippy soundscapes and other ways that musicians and listeners might describe the music they like.
They’re calling it “Pandora Internet Radio” and the songs just keep coming. If you don’t like what Pandora offers you, there is an option to use the guide to say “I’m tired of this song – don’t play it for a month” or “I don’t like this song – it’s not what this station should play.” If you do find something you fancy just choose “I really like this song – play more like it!”
There is an option to skip a song but their licensing allows only a few skips per hour (which I used up pretty quickly). I was thrilled to be reminded of some old favourite tunes and artists that I’d forgotten about and I’ve already found some new tunes I’ll have to check out again. Each title has 3 buttons that appear on mouseover: a thumbs up, menu, and thumbs down. The menu button has a “Bookmark this song” option which I think will come in very handy. The menu button also offers a link to find out more info about why Pandora suggested the song, the ability to make a new station based on the song or artist, details about the song, artist, or album, and a purchase option through iTunes or Amazon.
I’ve had a couple of disappointments where albums (yes, vinyl) that in the old days I recall playing again and again, and that I’d like to hear again, just aren’t in the project – yet. I suppose if it was obscure 20 years ago it might still be obscure. Time will tell.
Thank you to Jeff and Rob for telling me about this one – I’ve been saying for awhile that I needed more music in my life.
Take heart… bran van 3000 wasn’t in Pandora’s music collection when I first started using it (Nov 2005) but it’s there now…
I had forgotten there was a limit on the number of skips you can do in an hour … I think I encountered this once near the beginning, but the good part is that as you tweak your radio station to your tastes, you will be skipping less and less songs.
And you can create different stations too for completely different genres of music. See the “Create a New Station” blue button above your radio station.
I can’t say enough good things about Pandora. That’s why I’m afraid it can’t last – but it’s been 7 months now for me and I’m still happy.
I found the specs in their FAQs – it’s a max of 6 skips per hour. I’m hoping the tweaking will help and that it will indeed get better over time. Any recollection of how long that took for you?
I’ve got 5 different stations started so far and as I remember other interests I used to have I keep adding more. It’s fun stuff for sure.
The Pandora widget for Opera9 is great. Minimized it offers a volume control, play, pause and skip. Open it up and you see the cover art of the current and 2 previous tracks, the thumbs up and down and the menu for details plus a list of your stations with the controls to create a new one. It’s small, unobtrusive, tidy, functional – you’re right though, how long can this last?
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