Monday, August 18, 2008
Opening Up The Possibilities of Pandora.com
Enter Donald Fagen (left) of Steely Dan into Pandora.com and it's interesting what you get...Everything from Sting to Pablo Cruise.
By Allen Bacon
The Daily Bosco
So I'm playing around with Pandora.com, a website that picks music based on similiar attributes and puts together unique personal radio stations according to your tastes. I thought I would be a wise guy and put in Donald Fagen, front man for Steely Dan and see what happened. I thought, he's unique.... they can't possibly come up with that many similarities.
The result was interesting. Ok, the first song was a Donald Fagen song...then from there a Steely Dan tune from their latest album Everything Must Go. That's understandable. Then it threw out Sting's She Walks This Earth. That's interesting...not sure how it's similar but I like that song and I like Sting.
Next song that comes out...I have mixed emotions about. This is a Michael McDonald-era Doobie Brothers hit. I like the Doobie Brothers but I prefer the pre-Michael McDonald era Doobies. Then I realized that Michael McDonald used to sing with Steely Dan...so I guess that selection made sense. The next one really puzzled me...It was Pablo Cruise. What does Donald Fagen have to do with Pablo Cruise? Then I realized that I really liked Pablo Cruise back in the 70's. Apparently me and millions of others too. Pablo Cruise had a couple of number one hits and gold records. So I was OK with that.
Pandora.com is pretty neat. If you haven't tried it yet....give yourself a couple of hours because it's very cool and can be addictive.
Pandora.com is the website for the Music Genome Project.What is the Music Genome Project? In the year 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.
They set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. They 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. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.
Since they started back in 2000, the proprietors of the Music Genome Project have carefully listened to the songs of tens of thousands of different artists - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as they endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world.