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!