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September 25, 2006


Well, Pandora is pretty cute. But it doesn't recognise a lot of the music I like, and it continually gives me music that has the edge filed off it compared to the stuff I input.

I think the problem is this: I would listen to an internet radio station to find interesting music I don't already know about, and I'd expect a station to be have a greater range of the stuff that I like than my own collection. But Pandora has 400, 000 tracks of which only a small proportion are the stuff that I like. I, on the other hand, have about 18, 000 tracks, overwhelmingly stuff that I like. (I had a purge). Party shuffle turns up a pleasingly eclectic mix (though I probably ought to make a new playlist comprising everything except children's music I don't like, and melodeon / folk melody teaching CDs, of which I now have about a dozen), including typically quite a lot of stuff I don't remember I own.

And there's a special case of this. They recommend that to get your personalised Christmas station, you input some holiday songs you like, and it will play other similar ones. Turns out that Christmas songs I like are divided into two categories. Ones it doesn't recognise as Christmas songs (Fairytale of New York, 2000 Miles, I Believe in Father Christmas) and ones it doesn't recognise (Wombling Merry Christmas, Stop the Cavalry, All I want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit). Moving into more generic Christmas tunes there are some it recognises, but by artists that I don't recognise (Down in Yon Forest) and some it just doesn't recognise (Herod and the Cock, Personent Hodie).

Meanwhile, the proprietor of UPlayMe emailed me to say I might like to check it out. And I would, but it's Windows only at present. If you've tried it, let me know what you think.

NB: one of the reasons I'm having problems with Pandora is that it's US-only. I did input a perfectly genuine, if slightly out of date, zip code, which is their security check for USianness.

Posted by Alison Scott at September 25, 2006 07:49 PM


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