You Want to Invest in This?
So I use Pandora on my Droid, and it’s pretty reasonable. I haven’t done anything complicated, or even created any mixes. And when I pick Bruce Cockburn Radio or Stevie Wonder Radio or Don Henley Radio or any of the other stations that are perfectly safe to play while at work, there will occasionally be tracks by other artists, but they’re fairly similar: Stevie gets followed by Aretha, Cockburn gets followed by an instrumentalist or a McGarrigle sister, Henley gets followed by mellow Genesis or Peter Gabriel (“In Your Eyes”) or Phil Collins solo.*
So I was very surprised when I launched Pandora from my laptop’s browser today, still on the Don Henley station. Here are the first four songs it chose:
- Led Balloon, “Stairway to Heaven” (live, no less)
- Bon Jovi, “Wanted Dead or Alive”
- Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama,” and
- Queen, “We Will Rock You”
If I wanted to listen to a set list like that, I would just tune in one of the local mediocre commercial stations. At least their commercials are more interesting.
(Hint to investors: if a company only has one advert that it uses when the app is first used—even after the user clicked through and signed up—they have more of a problem with their business model than Patch.)
From what I can tell, we’re back in the Built-to-Flip model of Internet investing.
The “Don Henley” station is now playing The Rolling Stones’s “Paint It Black.” Love the song, own the Decca collection they’re linking it to. Not what I would expect to hear between Coldplay and Steeler’s Wheel, though.
Paying $36/year to upgrade my account seems much more unlikely than it did even this morning. The next two songs were “Another One Bites the Dust” and this:
which was the second track by that band in an hour—matching the actual number of Henley/Eagles tracks played.
Either their algorithm is really dumb, or they assume all their listeners obsess over Axl’s vocals on “I Will Not Go Quietly.” Not the way to bet in the mass market.
*I have some standards: the latter would be an immediate thumb down, but I know why I’m getting it: after you let the Genesis-recorded Ode to Adultery [“In Too Deep”] play, Collins’s sententious solve-hunger song [“Another Day in Paradise’] or the insufferable “Take Me Home” probably will be suggested sooner rather than later.)
You can, of course, train it by voting down what you don’t want to hear or consider inappropriate. It may be trying to assess your range. If you have tried listening to new musinc to find something worth listening to you realize what a daunting task it can be. When you have a great commerical station, it is all too much to bother and you really come to appreciate their filtering even if you don’t love everything they play.
I gotta say I’ve had a very different experience. Like the previous poster mentioned you can “train” it. Also the overwhelming majority of the suggested songs were new to me and I was glad to discover them. I agree that I cannot see why I’d ever pay for this but thr commercials don’t bother me. I think you need to give it time and you’ll learn tp appreciate it. Try creating a station of your own and see what you think.
I second Lord’s recommendation that you build the filter you need for the specific station you desire. Pandora’s features will allow the listener to put together a selection of music custom tailored for the listener, but it doesn’t happen magically or over night. Further, the system is intended to push new/different groups into the mix in order to introduce them. Frankly, it’s one of the better features of Pandora, because it clarifies the qualities of the music the listener is choosing. Any comments about the trading quality of the stock are above my pay grade though and could very well be correct.
Roll your own is the way to go. This site helps if you are a progressive rock fan.
I’ve discovered Porcupine Tree, founded in 1991 and one of the few bright lights in the music world still active. About 10 albums, nearly all good. Then they also produce another group called Blackfield with two good albums.
Also rediscovered Camel, who have been going steady thru 2005 and have at least a dozen albums.
Dixie Dregs and Eloy are a couple more talented oldies that been under the radar.
For Jazz, Jazz Fusion there are a ton of albums from Dave Weckl, John Scofield and Mike Stern.
I really liked Launch.com but Yahoo bought it and screwed it up. Now I stick to Radio Paradise.