Sunday, May 25, 2008

Free Internet Music to Learn by: Pandora Radio

[Photo by jeanpierrelavoie.]

Okay, I know that classical music will not magically make my kid a genius. Even so, we enjoy listening to music while we do workbook pages or other chores, and symphonies or string quartets (no lyrics!) make great background music for reading or other thought-intensive work. My daughter recently Stumbled on a great resource for free music:

Pandora Radio from the Music Genome Project

"At Pandora, we have a single mission: To play music you'll love - and nothing else.

"Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and completely obscure - to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

"You can create as many 'stations' as you want. And you can even refine them. If it's not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you."
Now we each have our own, specially-adapted background music to keep us company while we study, or fold laundry, or play math games on the Internet. Chickenfoot plays Johnny Cash, Princess Kitten likes Purple People Eater and other silly songs, while Niner (pronounced NEE-ner) listens to a mixture of oldies and Chris Rice. I have two stations: classical for when I am writing and a jumbled mix of all-of-the-above for general use.

It may not make us smarter, but it is fun. When you first start a Pandora station, it takes awhile to learn your preferences. Just mark each song it plays with a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" to train the program, and soon you will have your own commercial-free Internet radio station with exactly the kind of music you like.

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