Music Genome Project: Pandora


Last night I was talking to a friend (credit: Ilan Jacobson) about music and he mentioned a really innovative online service called Pandora. So … what is this ‘Pandora’? It is modelled after the Human Genome Project, but for music, and coined the “Music Genome Project“. Who would have thought that a ‘whole genome shotgun’ approach to music could work just as well as it did with DNA! I wonder if they sent Craig Venter a thank you note? Do you think they only did 3x coverage, or did they go all out with a 5x (gotta love a lame genetics joke…) ?

So, how does their algorithm work? Well, they set out to “capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level” and pick out musical “genes”, which distinguish different musical attributes such as melody, harmony and rhythm among other characteristics. The service also asks you to identify certain songs or bands that you like to determine a starting point within their system. I have been using it for only a few hours now, and I can already see its potential. With every piece of feedback I provide, the system becomes more accurate at determining the best songs to suit my taste. Cool idea!

They even let you RSS your personal radio stations, check out my streams. Enjoy!

Refrigerator Will Toss You Can of Beer


“When John Cornwell graduated from Duke University last year, he landed a job as software engineer in Atlanta but soon found himself longing for his college lifestyle. So the engineering graduate built himself a reminder of life on campus: a refrigerator that can toss a can of beer to his couch with the click of a remote control.” See the rest of the article at Wired.com.

It’s no wonder this kid built one of these — it’s about time there was a beer launching fridge! Every University student should get one upon graduation. Hey John Cornwell, go negotiate that with the beer companies and every major US University and you should be able to retire young …