If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

15 September 2006

Totally Unsolicited Endorsements - IV

Funny what you miss, being so far away.

The last time I was back in the States, I realized I didn't know any of the new music being played on the radio in the rental cars (the music scene is completely different here, and mostly in Italian).

And I realized, in a moment of sheer horror, that I have already become (with my old Norah Jones and Mary Chapin Carpenter and Counting Crows and Andrea Bocelli and Neil Diamond (!?!) CDs) that thirtysomething woman who listens to 'oldies'. Those might as well be 8-tracks for as fast as the music world moves.

I've had an Ipod (her name is "With Envy" - she's a green mini) for a while, just hadn't been so good about using it. When I moved here, I went through the entire exercise of putting all my music into Itunes, but still carried my favorite CDs over with me. And they are what I played, for months.

My last two trips back to the states have changed me, completely. (I remember the moment, sitting in the car, when he handed me his Ipod headphones and said ... here, listen to this.) It was the first time I had heard a truly 'new' - okay, new TO ME - song in the longest time. And in that moment, I realized that my life had an entire soundtrack. That song had just been added. And I could carry it with me, wherever I went.

But how does your life's soundtrack evolve? If you don't have anything other than ... what's already in your music library? And no radio? And no friends handy to shove their Ipods into your hands, saying "listen to this". Wandering blindly through Itunes snippets on your own is a time-sucking recipe for disaster.

The answer?

www.pandora.com

It's completely free, from the Music Genome Project. You tell it what you already like, a song or an artist, and it makes recommendations for you. And plays them (did I say FREE?), like streaming radio. And you say "thumbs up" or not, and it keeps making more recommendations, playing more songs for you.

And you can add to your life's soundtrack, one song at a time. It's magical. It has, indeed, opened the Pandora's box of what I have budgeted to spend on music monthly (since of course I want to buy the songs I hear and like)! Finally, a brand that's honestly named.

It really is like having that conversation with a friend, over and over again, the one in the car that day: "here, listen to this song ... "




PS: I just, literally, laughed out loud and nearly snorted wine through my nose while typing this. A song just shuffled through reminding me of every crazy bit of my Southern roots, the lyric sang: "Don't tempt me, I'm where I wanna be. 'Cause on the 8th day, God made Sweet Tea."

Oh, Pandora. Bless your heart.

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4 Comments:

Blogger TimofSuburbia said...

What a great post on Pandora! I've been reading a lot of blog posts about Pandora lately and this is one of the best. I somehow turned the music off on my life's soundtrack after college, but Pandora turned it back on for me. I never listen to CDs or regular radio anymore.

Please join us in the Pandora community at

http://pandorastations.crispynews.com

and

http://www.pandora-forum.com

Thanks!

Tim

2:52 AM  
Anonymous elle said...

Totally new band alert!!! I've been dying to tell someone. The Pipettes. Awesome awsome awesome girl band. Can only be found on Amazon.UK.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Viaggiatore said...

Elle: also on Itunes, yay! Thanks for the recommendation... I'm currently grooving on the totally 60's throwback, "Your Kisses are Wasted on Me". Kinda my-boyfriend's-back with a contemporary edge.

7:21 PM  
Blogger A said...

Here is a site that has some tweaks for Pandora. Supposedly they help with function and functionality.

http://www.lifehacker.com/software/pandora/technophilia-15-ways-to-get-more-out-of-pandora-201072.php

Your pal, Cupcake

2:31 AM  

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