Flipping channels between football games over the holidays I came across a CNBC talking head discussing what she thought would be the next YouTube on the Internet. You know —- the next big thing that will earn millions for Google or Yahoo or whoever ends up buying the concept. The Web site she mentioned was Pandora.com.
Pandora was created by a group who calls themselves the Music Genome Project. It is soft of a community-based, social-networking site for music. You pick a song or an artist and the Web site will search for Internet radio stations playing that song or artist and play it for you. Then Pandora goes one step further, it also finds music that it deems to be similar. And my limited tests of the algorithms were very impressive.
A search for The Kinks, gave me music not only from that great band, but music from Warren Zevon, Alejandro Escovedo, The Castaways, The Who, and The Nouvells. Some I've heard before, some I had not, but I liked it all. The experience made for an interesting listening experience. I am often in the mood to hear music of the same genre, but new to my ears.
Other sites have tried this type of focused radio, but I often found their choices lacking. Brittany Spears and Dolly Parton may have many similarities in physical attributes and country upbringing, but I would hardly say their music is similar in anyway, shape or form.
Give Pandora a try a see if works as well for you. On a lark I decided to ask it for music by one of the most obscure musical acts I could think of —- The Kaelin Twins. I stumped it. Maybe you can too.