Pandora is costing me a pretty penny

published: Mon, 11-Aug-2008   |   updated: Mon, 11-Aug-2008

Pandora is an internet radio station with a difference. First of all it's free (which seems to negate my blog title). Second it creates a playlist at run-time based on the music you like.

What you do is to create an account (it makes it easier later on), and then tell it what music you like by specifying an artist, a band, an album, or a song. From that, and from some metadata on what the music is all about, Pandora then creates your own personal "radio station" selecting and playing songs that are similar in vein to the information you provided.

Easy enough. I created a radio station based on Massive Attack and another on Thievery Corporation as an experiment to see what it could do. Blimey, it ain't 'arf good at it. The music it's been playing has been very interesting and some of it makes me pause to see what's playing. This is supposed to be background music, dammit, to help me work, and instead I'm checking to see what's playing.

Worse than that, some of it I like so much, I end up buying the album. Hence the blog.

Every time this happens, I'm spending another $10 at Amazon's MP3 store. Help!

Here's some examples of what I've purchased since listening to Pandora using these two "radio stations". None of these artists I'd heard of before, but I certainly like what I've bought very much.

I will note in passing that these artists are all British or European. Hmm.

Anyway, I certainly recommend you trying Pandora if you want to spend a nice chunk of cash if you want to want to listen to music that you like.

UPDATE: One of my readers in Germany (hi, Joe!) tells me that Pandora is US-only at this point. Their license agreement does not extend outside the US. Bummer.