A problem many a music lover faces is trying to figure out how to find new music. The radio only plays a few handfuls of songs that they repeat every day, and buying unfamiliar music or just borrowing friends’ music gets expensive and tiresome.
I’ve found a number of good sources online that I plan on sharing over time. The first and, at the moment, the best one I’ve been using a lot lately is called Pandora Radio. It’s a flash based player that runs either in your browser, or as a standalone player (still in beta, but works well).
So what is it? It’s an extremely customizable music streaming service…and it’s totally free. You enter an artist or song, and Pandora searches the Music Genome Project, a pretty cool database of very detailed song characteristics, and plays music with similar traits to what you’ve entered.
After you’ve been using Pandora for a while and have a number of stations saved up, you can use the QuickMix feature, which lets you play any combination of your stations in a shuffle mode. I use QuickMix all the time, since it’s great to group a few stations together that fit a particular mood I may be in at the time. To use Pandora, you need to create a free account, which comes in handy, because you can log in on any computer and have all your saved stations.
So yeah, go check that action out! I just read on their site that you can subscribe for $36 per year. I wasn’t sure why you’d want to do that, but it looks like it’s primarily for using Pandora Mobile, which can be installed on a number of cell phones, including the iPhone, so that’s pretty sweet. You also get no advertisements when you use Pandora online if you’re a subscriber. Their ads, however, aren’t too annoying, because each ad loads with a matching theme, so it looks nice.