Ed’s Weblog

…now my real blog

Pandora and the Music Genome

Posted by Ed on March 17, 2006

Recently, Charl got me hooked on the music and social networking site Last.fm, which plays music based on what people with similar tastes to you (your musical neighbours) have also played. Now Juan has introduced me to Pandora, and I’m hooked again! Pandora plays music similar to songs or artists you tell it you like, drawing its data from the Music Genome Project:

We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or “genes” into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song – everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony.

The key difference betwee the sites is that Last.fm uses people’s tastes to assign to make suggestions, whereas Pandora uses only the qualities of the music taken from their analyses. For example, in Pandora, if you type in Steel Pulse, you hear:

music which features a reggae feel, acoustic rhythm piano, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation, extensive vamping and minor key tonality.

You can listen to music similar to Steel Pulse at Pandora by clicking on this link: Steel Pulse Radio.

Both sites are extremely cool and have introduced me to things I would not otherwise have heard. They also give you personalised internet radio wherever you go!

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