Pandora.com

Pandora.com is the new biggest thing you can tell everyone you heard it here first. Pandora.com is going to be bigger than Napster, bigger than Kazaa, this is going to be huge. Last week my brother sent me an email about a website that allows you to create your own radio station. I looked into it and what I discovered was the smartest innovation I have seen in a long time.

Previously I have blogged about RedBox, Hybrid Cars, Google, and Foxnews.com's use of XML. Needless to say I get excited when people break the rules and innovate new technology by thinking outside the box. Pandora's creation of a web-based radio station that is tailored to you definitely fits the bill.

You're probably thinking enough already just tell me what the thing does. Pandora is a radio station that is created and customized based on the artists you input when you get started. Pandora is associated with the Music Genome Project which maps the DNA of songs breaking down every song along the lines of 200 different musical aspects. It will play songs based on how well they correlate to what they've been told you like. Each song displays the album art while playing and you can click on the icon and either select I like it or I don't like it. Based on this rating the station gets smarter as far as what it thinks you like. My experience is it gets very good with increased use and feedback.

Clicking on the album art icon also gives you the option of going to iTunes or Amazon.com to buy the song. Another feature is you can make your station public and share it with whoever.

Most of these features are similar to those offered by other automated radio station services like London-based Last.fm and Yahoo's LAUNCHcast. The kicker is that Pandora requires no download. It is entirely web-based. Anywhere I have Internet access on any computer I can get a live streaming feed of my favorite music. Other services are limited because they require the download of a player. If Pandora detects you're computer has not had any activity it will terminate the stream assuming you have left in an attempt to conserve bandwidth.

Like Google, Pandora provides its web-based service for free making money on advertising. It allows you to pay a fee to get rid of the advertising at which point i think your realize how little you care about advertising.

Pandora is the future because it is a web-based source of music that boils music down to a science. One feature I like to use is the "Why did you play this song?" feature. It often comes back with "because it features southern rap roots, synth riffs, and a tight kick". I'm not 100 percent sure what the hell all that means but it definitely has convinced me these guys know what they are doing and have mastered their art. Integrating Internet capabilities into mobile devices is much easier than integrating hard drive space setting up the stage for this to explode.

-hj

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