The GGA Project -- Day #19 "Musical Journey"

Today I went to visit my best gal Kelsi and her boys.  The drive is normally an hour long, and somehow--when traffic everywhere is lighter this week--traffic on this particular trip was terrible.  It took a good hour twenty.  But anyway, it was all good because (having put a muzzle on the Chuck Palahniuk audio book, and lost the Christmas station to the non-Christmas cheeserock that normally occupies it) I took the advice of my other best gal Nicole's awesome stepma, Chris, and decided that, I would, for

Today's New Activity: Listening to Pandora's App for iPhone in the Car

If you are not already familiar with Pandora.com, lemme break it down briefly.  It sprung from the Music Genome Project, in which...oh nevermind, lemme let Wikipedia do it for me:

"Pandora Radio is an automated music recommendation service and custodian of the Music Genome Project. Users enter a song or artist that they enjoy, and the service responds by playing selections that are musically similar. Users provide feedback on approval or disapproval of individual songs, which Pandora takes into account for future selections.
While listening, users are offered the ability to buy the songs or albums at various online retailers. Over 400 different musical attributes are considered when selecting the next song. These 400 attributes are combined into larger groups called focus traits. There are 2,000 focus traits. Examples of these are rhythm syncopation, key tonality, vocal harmonies, and displayed instrumental proficiency."

So I've had the Pandora app for a while, but I never thought to use it because, I don't know.  I just never did.  But the drive was perfect for it today, so I plugged in my little transmitter and listened through the radio.

EDIT:  After a few comments, I realized I managed to make it seem like I was new to Pandora, which is not the case.  Using the (in my opinion, more user-friendly-than-the-website iPhone app and listening in the car as "radio" was what was new to me.  Just for clarification...)

The genius of Pandora is that it starts out with exactly what you tell it to (like, I make a station based on the artist U2, and the first song it plays is a U2 song), and then goes on playing songs in that same musical vein, saving you a whole lot of work trying to hunt down songs one-by-one on your MP3 player.  It doesn't always get it right, which is why you can thumbs up or down a song to tweak the station and get it closer to playing only stuff you like.

I had a number of stations saved already (the app pulled all my info from Pandora.com when I downloaded it), but today I added some new ones.  Namely:

Bon Iver Radio, example of his music here (thanks bro for the introduction to him):

Which ended up leading to this song, from The Frame, and from the movie "Once":

Cinematic Orchestra Radio, (thanks Jeff K. for leading me to this group):

And Florence + The Machine Radio, (thanks bartender at The Dirty Bird Lounge the other day for the intro to them):

Which led to songs by Sia and Feist.  Nice.

It ended up being a really nice ride down, even with the traffic and the post-rain mildewy FUNK in my car (why and how?!)  Music will pretty much make or break anything, no?

On the way home, Tinawiren Radio and Joni Mitchell Radio.  Man, I just LOVE all that music at my beck and call, without having to burn or download or PAY for it.  I like the surprise of it too.  You could say the radio is like that: you never know what's coming next.  But you have to listen to all those crap commercials, plus after a day or two with one station you pretty much know what all they may play.  This is a wonderful little gift every time!

And to my pleasant surprise, after all that constant streaming, my battery wasn't all that much drained.  I think this will be the way to go for a while.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a Pandora quick-tip: You can make a radio station with more than one artist and song. I just learned about this a couple months ago, and I'm not sure if it's common knowledge. You can only do it through the website, but you can add a multitude of your favorite artists and it will form a radio station around all of them.