Among my favorite apps on the iPhone is Pandora Radio
. I have been listening to Pandora Radio since they started back in 2000 when they began work on the Music Genome Project. The project is one of the most comprehensive music analysis projects ever undertaken.
A team of musical analysts listen to the music, one song at a time and collect data. It takes 20-30 minutes of processing per song as they break down melody, harmony, instrumentation, vocals and more. Using a series of attributes, over 400 according to their website, each song is categorized into genres so that by the time you create a station from your favorite artist or song, Pandora Radio knows precisely what kind of music you might like. The process is further refined as you rate the music with a thumbs up or thumbs down to indicate your preference. It's an ingenious way to discover new music and new artists.
The app allows you to create up to 100 stations that you can then refine and fine tune to get precisely the music you like. It has built in one touch purchasing from the iTunes store or Amazon's MP3 store making it very easy to indulge in instant musical gratification. Some of the functionality includes bookmarking songs, artists and playlists for future reference, creating new stations, viewing album artwork, artist bios and much more. The website and the app both stream extremely well and provide great listening at work at home or in the car. Recently AT&T complained that Pandora Radio was gobbling too much bandwidth and audio quality was reduced but it still sounds way better than FM on the iPhone. The interface is clean and easy to use.
I used Pandora so much I recently upgraded my FREE account to the PANDORA ONE version that eliminates ads between streams and lifts the free listening time limit. The service is more than worth the $30 a year.
The Pandora App
will reward the musically curious with a never-ending experience of music discovery and with a price tag of $0 it can't be beat.