Revolutionizing Radio:

Face it; your music is getting boring. A human being can only listen to the same old songs so many times without going crazy. It’s easy to say, but how are you supposed to find more of your type of music? That’s where Pandora steps up to the plate. Pandora Radio, conveniently located at, offers the latest method of finding new music. Simply type in the name of a favorite artist, composer or song, and Pandora will create a radio station featuring both the music you entered and an array of similar tunes. Like a friendly librarian guiding you to books that might be of interest, Pandora leads you to songs that have all the musical and lyrical attributes you love. You can create up to 100 different radio stations to listen to at your leisure, and your input doesn’t end there. A feature called “Guide Us” allows users to critique Pandora’s song choices after the creation of each station. You can let the site know if a certain song is good, bad or simply a song you’re sick to death of. The station will adapt to fit your suggestions. Like on Facebook, you can design your own profile and create a list of friends to easily keep up with who’s listening to what. Futhermore, you can bookmark other people with musical tastes similar to yours and listen to their stations. And don’t forget the wall of comments. If you’ve ever had the desire for feedback on your musical tastes, you’ve found the right site. How did this all begin? Things cranked into action on January 6, 2000 with the dawning of the Music Genome Project. The goal of the music-analysts involved was to create “the most comprehensive analysis of music ever,” according to Pandora’s website. For the past seven years, the analysts have been hard at work listening to a wide variety of songs, one at a time. They collect around 400 details on each song regarding things like rhythm, harmony, instrumentation, and all those other elements you learned about in Music 200. This process of detail-gathering takes nearly half an hour per song, but these little details are what make Pandora’s stations so finely tuned to their listeners’ musical tastes. Due to the fact that each song must be analyzed before being added to the site, Pandora’s library is growing rather slowly and has far less to offer than something like iTunes. English lyrics predominate, although a collection of Latin and Brazilian songs were recently added. Despite its snail-pace growth, the site aims to eventually feature music from all corners of the globe. Any fan of YouTube may already be spotting a major problem with using Pandora at school – bandwidth. Listening to the same old songs from your iTunes library doesn’t eat up any bandwidth, whereas Pandora streams music at 128 kilobits per second. That isn’t a ton, but if you routinely forget to log out, you’ll soon be waving your internet privileges goodbye. Another downside of Pandora is the ads. Huge McDonald’s burgers sizzle on the right side of the screen. If you switch to another page, the burgers are replaced by an advertisement for Bose speaker systems. There are no pop-up ads, but the ads that are there are distracting. Yet, having these advertisements is the only way Pandora can continue to provide its services for free. Overall, remains a cool, innovative new tool of modern age. It’s all about Pandora Radio’s mission: “to play the music you love – and nothing else.”