An interesting new means of sampling Internet radio is the new phenomenon known as Pandora, sponsored by Pandora Media, Inc.. The company promotes the “Music Genome Project” in which its database of songs categorizes and dissects each song by its characteristics, for example, the New Age singer Enya may be tagged with: female lead singer, vocal harmony, use of a string ensemble, major key, and new age aesthetics. This permits an intelligent way of tackling the task of identifying songs similar to those that you like or identifying songs that you were not even aware that you liked. Using Pandora is simple: go to the Pandora.com website, and enter an artist or song that you like. Pandora will then began to play in order songs with similar characteristics to your chosen artist or song. For each one of these, you can give it a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to further refine Pandora’s algorithm in choosing which songs it will play for you next. If you give a song a thumbs down, the song will stop playing immediately and be replaced with a new selection that hopefully better fits your tastes. Pandora provides a new twist as well at any time, you may create a new radio station which is seeded from the artist or song that is currently playing… essentially allowing you to investigate variations on the current musical theme without losing the refinements you have made. (Of course, you may always click on the “create a new station” button to create additional stations from scratch based upon an arbitrary artist or song title as its basis.) An additional “quick mix” feature allows you to play songs drawn from two or more of your personalized stations of your choosing.Pandora Web radio runs directly from your web browser. Go to www.Pandora.com to check it out
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