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Three Reasons Why I Like Pandora
Find new music by focusing on artists you know and love. Most of us have a few staple artists that we listen to day in and out. I do the best I can to not listen to the same people over and over again, but I only have so much music, and I don't want to listen to the aforementioned crap. Plug these artist into Pandora, and you get to listen to something different that has very similar musical qualities to the music you already love.
Find new music by focusing on an artist or genre you kind of like but are unfamiliar with.
New to blues but kind of dig Muddy Waters? Type in "Muddy Waters" into Pandora and see what comes up. You'll likely expand your musical universe considerably by doing this, even if you only succeed in figuring out that you don't like particular artists.
Who doesn't like free music? 'Nuff said.
It helps you find new music without you having listening to crap
I love finding and supporting new artists; I hate listening to the crap that comes on the radio from artists that I'd rather see used during governmental attempts to get people to leave the compound. There's actually two ways you can Pandora to find music:
You can help become part of the musical research, cataloging, and exploration
While you're listening to songs, you can tell Pandora whether you like or don't like songs. Doing this helps the project refine their analyses so that their categorizing becomes better. So, while you're listening and blogging away, you can give back to someone else's project. It's like helping medical research without signing all those forms and risking pesky side effects.
There's a free version supported by ads and a paid version for $36. I'm going to give it a few weeks of listening before I pay, but I have no doubt that I'll end up dropping down the dough since it's such a good service. Head over to Pandora and give it a try.
Update 11/7/09: After listening to Pandora for a couple of years, I went ahead and bought the premium version. I got tired of the ads and I also liked the features of Pandora One - the main one being the desktop application that I can run in the background without having to refresh it to keep it playing. I've easily gotten $3 per month of value out of the service, so it was the right move for me.