Thanks to Corina, I am in the process of discovering a new method of discovering music. The service is called Pandora, and it is, according to itself, a ‘free internet radio site based on the Music Genome Project’. While I ahve yet to visit the actual Pandora site (available only in the US due to copyright reasons?!?!), since I don’t listen to music in the office, I am excited by the possibilities. What’s inside the music box? You won’t know until you open it and it TAKES OVER THE LIFE OF ALL HUMANITY. Ahem.
So – a little bit more about the Music Genome project. It’s an attempt to classify your interests based on a number of song characteristics. To me, this seems somewhat similar to the Hit Song Science software I’ve mentioned before. However, instead of tracing the characteristics of songs that are hits, it suggests things you might like based on your favorite songs or artists. Like Amazon, it suggests things you might like that are similar to your current selection, comparing artists and songs on various ‘gene’ criteria.
Despite my own reluctance to share my personal favorite anything, and despite my deeply-rooted fear of all preferences musical, the idea intrigues me. We all have different preferences at different times and in different moods – will this online service take that into account? Or will I simply scroll through endless lists of similar music that is not quite what I like? Is individual taste really reducible to a number of music characteristics, even if those characteristics collectively number in the 500s? or will I find some weird correlations between the songs I prefer? I anticipate both interesting new discoveries, and new ways to critique and disparage the tastes of others. You like angular melodies, HA!