It’s a website, not a box

This website is pretty tripped out:

http://www.pandora.com

It's a new online music service that provides music streams (like radio, but online) instead of downloads. What stands out about this particular site is that it is based on a project called the Music Genome Project (http://www.pandora.com/mgp.shtml), in which trained musicians evaluate music based on multiple technical characteristics to attempt to extract something akin to DNA of musical style.

You go to the site, enter a song or band you like, and it serves up
songs by other bands that have similar characteristics, and that you
will presumably also like. I put in "The Grudge" by Tool, and so far I
got "Ghost of the Navigator" by Iron Maiden, "Somebody, Someone" by
Korn, and right now it's playing "Break You" by Lamb of God. All
rather different bands, but listening from an analytical perspective I
can certainly hear the similarities. I already knew I liked the Tool
song, and back in high school I was the biggest Iron Maiden fan in the
world (although the song they played is from a more recent album that
I've never heard) and I like that song quite a bit. I've always kind
of thought that I would hate Korn because they're in that sort of
rap-rock nu-metal kind of vein, but the song they played was actually
pretty good. Funny, I kind of enjoyed it more before I knew it was
Korn… I'm so shallow. The Lamb of God song is really heavy, and
pleasingly technical rhythmically, structurally, and in instrumental
part writing. I probably would have been super into them in high
school when I was in a really big metal phase. It was a good song, but
I don't know how much I would listen to it now.

Ooh, update… now they've kicked me way back in time to Soundgarden's
"Rusty Cage!" Crazy. Definitely doesn't seem to fit in character as
much with the other songs, but again, listening analytically, I can
hear why it's in there. I see now that you can also tell it whether
you like a particular song that's playing, and it will alter the
profile of what it plays for you. It will also tell you why it's
playing a certain song with the others… really freaking cool. Too
bad I can't afford to actually subscribe!

Advertisements

Published by

Scott

Husband and father. Catholic. Amateur cook, general food enthusiast. Composer of electroacoustic and other neat sorts of music. Composition/music theory/electronic music professor at Washington State University. Electric guitarist, classical percussionist, frequent performer of live computer music. Lover of this messy, complicated, stressful, beautiful life.

One thought on “It’s a website, not a box”

  1. Blasco,

    Your dang e-mail is not attached to your blog, hence the public reply!

    No, you won’t risk my wrath concerning the homosexuality issue, especially since half of what I say on homosexuality (or, at least, half of what I’ve said lately) is me playing Catholic devil’s advocate. Still, I am familiar with the modern exegesis of Scripture which apparently describes a “new teaching” (or, at least, a “new attitude”) on homosexuality. I’m also aware of the counter claims which can be made coming not from the far right of evangelical Bible thumpers but from the pages of critical-historical scholarship on the cultural meaning of texts and the words used. I don’t believe the Christian condemnation of homosexual behavior as sinful–evident in the earliest post-New Testament writings–was predicated upon a misreading or misunderstanding of texts written within their own lifetime.

    Perhaps the clearest way to summarize my social views on homosexuality would be to rip a quote from one of my favorite scholars, Harry V. Jaffa, who states: “No civilized person today wants to persecute homosexuals, or to see them suffer and die from horrible diseases. But it is equally true that no civilized person should wish to see homosexuality accepted as an equally valid ‘alternative lifestyle.'”

    I have more to write (so much more!), but I’ll let this sit for now. It’s good to see you made it in one piece to sunny California. Take care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s