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How does Pandora do this? It’s based on the Music Genome Project, a sophisticated collection of musical information. Pandora founder (and pianist) Tim Westergren, on right, worked with two friends to create the Music Genome Project in 2000 and it has grown into the most thorough analysis of music ever undertaken. Each song in the project is analyzed by an actual human musician using up to 400 musical characteristics. Pandora uses this information to create playlists based on musical similarity.
Enter the name of one of your favorite songs or artists, and Pandora quickly scans its database of analyzed music — new and old, well known and completely obscure— to find songs with interesting similarities. Pandora dishes out the tunes, and you sit back and enjoy a customized listening experience. Create as many “stations” as you want and refine them by hitting thumbs up or down on a song.
Whether you want to listen to music you know you already love, find new artists, or just take a break from rambling DJs, Pandora is an experience not to be missed. It’s free, and you can listen to Pandora on your mobile device or share your Pandora stations with friends with MP3-ready speakers like the Orbit Speaker by Altec Lansing. If you enjoyed a good mix tape back in the day, you’ll love Pandora.