Have you tried Pandora yet? If not, go there and check it out. It’s pretty self-explanatory, and really freakin’ cool.
But for those of you who don’t trust your own eyes - perhaps they were clawed out by angry baboons on an African safari? - I will explain Pandora’s premis. Imagine if a bunch of people got together and categorized a lot of different music according to various components. They might listen to thousands upon thousands of tracks, applying labels like “vocal-centric aesthetic,” “prominent saxophone solo,” “guitar power ballad,” or “corny lyrics” to each song they heard. They would probably quantify those ratings, relate them to one another, and then put them into a big ol’ database.
Now imagine that you could start listening to some music that you know you like, and then that database would find similar music and play it for you. You could thumbs-up or thumbs-down its choices, and it would tune itself into your musical tastes.
Now imagine that this was all free, and you’ve just imagined yourself Pandora. Unlike its mythological namesake, this particular Pandora is opening a music box, and this time there doesn’t seem to be any plauge, famine, or other general evil spilling out. Just good music.
Major kudos to Husky Ted. You are officially my Cool Shit Compass, and my Peruvian Princess.