I haven't had this much fun since...
...well, my husband would finish that, "since the pigs ate my little sister," but I never liked that saying so I'll spare you.
My uncle told me about Pandora last week and I'm smitten. He was having a hard time 'splainin' what it was all about and now that I'm there I can see why. Very complicated. Here's how I understand it. A group of men got together in 2000 and started dissecting music. They claim that music has -well- like genes. Elements that you can dissect out and group together. They call their project the Music Genome Project and Pandora is a very special music service that uses this genome project to build personalized radio stations.
Maybe it would just be easiest to explain what I set up this morning. I registered for an account like you would with any net service. Then I was asked to enter the name of a musician, composer, band... Whatever. My choice. I chose Enya to start out. This started my "Enya" radio station, but it doesn't only play Enya. Pandora now goes out and finds all kinds of music with the same "genetic structure" as Enya. I've heard such wonderful New Age, often Celtic, music today. I have the option of giving a song a "thumbs up" (which, I guess, gives that song or others like it a better chance of being replayed at some point.) One song I really did not like so I gave it a thumbs down a few bars in and ZAP! The music ended and a message popped up saying they'd never play that one again for me.
And I don't know if this is good or not, but Pandora will even link me to itunes or Amazon so I can buy something if I really like it. After liking three songs from the same album (album and artist I'd never heard of before) I clicked over to Amazon and 1-clicked two copies of the album (one for me and one for my mom for her birthday).
On the down side, I have been trying to collect some of the songs from my 'Tweens and Teens' years and have had a problem finding Jan & Dean songs. So far, most that I've purchased (most from itunes) have been remasters and I want the originals. I had the brilliant idea that if I set up a Jan & Dean station I could preview the songs as they come up and, if it's an original, see the album it's on and order it (oh, yeah, I forgot to mention they show the cover art from the album the song is on.) Well, apparently they don't have an arrangement with Jan & Dean (or Dean, anyway, since Jan died) and Pandora doesn't play their music (although they did play the Beach Boys because of the harmonics.)
Oh, yeah, and they actually pay licensing fees so the artists get paid. One of their core values.
Paying artists. What a concept.