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(Boing Boing)   How Pandora figures out what songs you're going to like. They are ultimately chosen by humans not computers, if you can imagine a website low-tech enough to allow actual people rather than algorithms to pick and choose content   (boingboing.net) divider line 178
    More: Interesting, Music Genome Project, algorithms, Tim Westergren, genome project, heat map, computers  
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6127 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 May 2014 at 2:04 PM (8 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-26 11:18:25 AM
Input Sanitation FTW.
 
2014-05-26 11:53:04 AM
Well, they sure as hell got the ones I DON'T like wired
 
2014-05-26 01:37:26 PM
I need that job.
 
2014-05-26 02:03:00 PM
Behind the scenes at Pandora...
img.fark.net
 
2014-05-26 02:08:39 PM
Led Zepplin on the Lionel Richie channel? I know they did it to give the wife a conniption fit. To the person who did this I say, "Good Job"
 
2014-05-26 02:09:09 PM
My problem with Pandora is that it takes the randomness out of the equation. Sometimes I want to be surprised by something that sounds literally like nothing I've been listening to for the last hour or so.
 
2014-05-26 02:11:00 PM
That doesn't really explain why a search for "Christmas" in December got me a whole playlist of death metal that had nothing to do with the holiday as the first result.
 
2014-05-26 02:11:09 PM
I've always found Pandora's method to be pretty unreliable. The initial song selection is good, but as soon as I start fiddling by rejecting songs the entire playlist goes to shiat.

And I have to recommend Cake radio to anyone interested in alt rock from the late 90s and early 2000s. I am not really a big Cake fan, but the playlist is varied and fantastic.
 
2014-05-26 02:11:48 PM
Boing Boing? Something something DRM something something STEAMPUNK something something PLEASE BUY MY shiatTY NOVEL something something 3D PRINTERS
 
2014-05-26 02:13:21 PM
What's interesting is so far it seems like Pandora just bases everything on how the music sounds. However there's no way to base it upon the actual content of the lyrics.

So if I wanted to create a metal station that had no profanity for my 5 year old I couldn't do that, but I could easily create a channel where everything sounds like Nickelback (of course then I'd shoot myself, but that's a side issue).

Sometimes I'm in the mood for a particular type of lyric, but that seems beyond Pandora's abilities.
 
2014-05-26 02:13:28 PM
My problem is that it's not varied enough. The same handful of songs get played over and over. When it comes to an artist they also seem to stick on one album in particular or only 2-3 songs per album.
 
2014-05-26 02:13:43 PM
Slacker > Pandora.
 
2014-05-26 02:13:58 PM
They're pretty bad at picking which ads they play. Listening to a punk station and getting commercials for Mercedes dealerships doesn't seem right.
 
2014-05-26 02:14:39 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Well, they sure as hell got the ones I DON'T like wired


This has been my experience as well.
 
2014-05-26 02:15:44 PM
Boing Boing, useless as usual.

// pandora talked about their algorithm way back when they appeared.

// the wiki article has links to the patent documentation and several books that have been published about the algorithm.
 
2014-05-26 02:16:23 PM
Pandora kept poisoning my Rat Pack channel with the likes of Jayhawks and unsigned indie whiners, so I kicked them to the curb and went with Grooveshark.
 
2014-05-26 02:17:08 PM

GhostFish: I've always found Pandora's method to be pretty unreliable. The initial song selection is good, but as soon as I start fiddling by rejecting songs the entire playlist goes to shiat.



This (but with Spotify).  I like to let Spotify run in the background while I workout.  I have a really nice ska station going that, but once every hour or so it starts playing some dubstep bullshiat.  The music is so bad it almost physically hurts me to hear it and I can't seem to figure out where it is coming from.
 
2014-05-26 02:18:41 PM

GhostFish: I've always found Pandora's method to be pretty unreliable. The initial song selection is good, but as soon as I start fiddling by rejecting songs the entire playlist goes to shiat.

And I have to recommend Cake radio to anyone interested in alt rock from the late 90s and early 2000s. I am not really a big Cake fan, but the playlist is varied and fantastic.

LOL
a good friend of mine listens to cake also. It plays a lot of shiat. Jack Johnson for example
 
2014-05-26 02:22:27 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Well, they sure as hell got the ones I DON'T like wired


Big this. After weeks of rejecting the same songs I gave up. My old man loves it, but he has the paid version. No idea how different it is, if at all, aside from ads.
 
2014-05-26 02:22:57 PM
Pandora sucks donkey balls, for reasons others have mentioned.  I can't figure out why aftermarket car audio head units offer Pandora reception it as an option, except that "the herd" has heard of it. Better to get a head unit with a Bluetooth receiver and pair it with your smartphone.  Personally, I subscribe to azzradio.com/sky.fm/di.com, but I don't want to argue about which service is best/anybody's favorite.
 
2014-05-26 02:23:53 PM
I think I found the last ten albums or so I've bought via pandora.  Mumford and Sons, Jerry Jeff Walker and Black Crowes are all great stations.  Just don't mix two together or they can never be unlinked.
 
2014-05-26 02:26:43 PM

lexnaturalis: What's interesting is so far it seems like Pandora just bases everything on how the music sounds. However there's no way to base it upon the actual content of the lyrics.

So if I wanted to create a metal station that had no profanity for my 5 year old I couldn't do that, but I could easily create a channel where everything sounds like Nickelback (of course then I'd shoot myself, but that's a side issue).

Sometimes I'm in the mood for a particular type of lyric, but that seems beyond Pandora's abilities.


Metal? You're worried about the use of swear words in a genre where vocals are run through bad mics and distortion pedals. I'd be more worried your 5 year old would pick up the style than the words.

Nickelback seems like McDonalds or Olive Garden. No one admits to liking it, but plenty of people go there anyhow.
 
2014-05-26 02:27:54 PM
My Antonio Vivaldi station kicks ass. Sometimes I get Lord of the Rings and Skyrim soundtracks.
 
2014-05-26 02:30:55 PM

acohn: Pandora sucks donkey balls, for reasons others have mentioned.  I can't figure out why aftermarket car audio head units offer Pandora reception it as an option, except that "the herd" has heard of it. Better to get a head unit with a Bluetooth receiver and pair it with your smartphone.  Personally, I subscribe to azzradio.com/sky.fm/di.com, but I don't want to argue about which service is best/anybody's favorite.


Because it's a good feature if you use the service. And lots of people do.

You can control Pandora from the head unit. You can change to a different station, set station randomizer/scramble, bookmark or delete stations, thumb up or thumb down songs and see track, album, artist, and song length all without messing with your phone. You wont have to wake and unlock your phone and them use the mobile interface while driving. I'm sure that the cop will care that you had your phone in hand just to play with the music and you weren't making a call or texting.

If you use the service, it's a good feature.
 
2014-05-26 02:34:22 PM
Fugazi radio should not be nothing but early '80s HC.

Tool radio should not be nothing but early '90's "grunge".

It was fun for a while, years ago, but overall Pandora sucks.
 
2014-05-26 02:34:34 PM
My Lostprophets Channel got me put on the sex offender registry.....
 
2014-05-26 02:35:14 PM
Rather apostrophe-happy of me, there.
 
2014-05-26 02:36:11 PM

JoieD'Zen: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Well, they sure as hell got the ones I DON'T like wired

This has been my experience as well.


This. I used it at work for a bit until I sorted the music situation and it was terrible. Just as much repetition as radio, plus inexplicable recommendations. And Johnny Cash. All the time on every country station I'd try and set up. I love JC, but for fark's sake, not every third song.
 
2014-05-26 02:36:31 PM

lh5.ggpht.com

Google Play Music:  Soooo worth the money.

======================================


Harry Freakstorm: Led Zepplin on the Lionel Richie channel? I know they did it to give the wife a conniption fit. To the person who did this I say, "Good Job"



I heard his cover of "The Immigrant Song" was pretty hardcore.
 
2014-05-26 02:36:42 PM

acohn: Pandora sucks donkey balls, for reasons others have mentioned.  I can't figure out why aftermarket car audio head units offer Pandora reception it as an option, except that "the herd" has heard of it. Better to get a head unit with a Bluetooth receiver and pair it with your smartphone.  Personally, I subscribe to azzradio.com/sky.fm/di.com, but I don't want to argue about which service is best/anybody's favorite.


I've got TuneIn on my PS3 and it seems to have a wide selection. First app I've found with a Symphonic Metal station. Not a shill, just know what I like.

/Free download in the Playstation Store
//Also available for IPod/Android
///I have very unique tastes
 
2014-05-26 02:37:24 PM
No. Wrong. The algorithm chooses what you'll listen to based on several factors, among which is the metadata rankings provided by human analysts.
 
2014-05-26 02:40:01 PM
And they all have Johnny Cash on them, which is fine by me.
 
2014-05-26 02:41:56 PM

crotchgrabber: They're pretty bad at picking which ads they play. Listening to a punk station and getting commercials for Mercedes dealerships doesn't seem right.


^^^THIS^^^

My guilty pleasure is listening to Dr. Dre radio through earbuds at my early-morning job working in my dad's orchards, and every other ad is for Home Depot. Nothing like getting pumped listing to "Natural Born Killaz", only to be followed by some lame ad skit with children playing telling me to go build a damn tree-house and buy some begonias.
 
2014-05-26 02:42:29 PM
Popular music infuriates me.
 
2014-05-26 02:42:33 PM

Tchernobog: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Well, they sure as hell got the ones I DON'T like wired

Big this. After weeks of rejecting the same songs I gave up. My old man loves it, but he has the paid version. No idea how different it is, if at all, aside from ads.


The paid version streams at 96kbps (yawn).
 
2014-05-26 02:44:02 PM
his other job - Giant -- organs -- San Francisco

And yet very little about showtunes.
 
2014-05-26 02:44:08 PM
I'm generally a Pandora fan, but I wish you could blanket-dislike entire artists. It's not that I don't like Jimi Hendrix, but pressing 'thumbs down' on 5 separate Hendrix songs in a Heavy Metal station doesn't mean I want another song of his to see if I changed my mind.

That, and they tend to play less commercials at night (a reasonable 30 second commercial or two every 3-4 songs) as opposed to a commercial in between just about every song during rush hour.
 
2014-05-26 02:44:14 PM

Riche: I heard his cover of "The Immigrant Song" was pretty hardcore.


I can't fault Lionel Richie, as he was the dude who wrote "Brick House".

Brick House,man..!
 
2014-05-26 02:46:12 PM

Nix Nightbird: Riche: I heard his cover of "The Immigrant Song" was pretty hardcore.

I can't fault Lionel Richie, as he was the dude who wrote "Brick House".

Brick House,man..!


I saw that Commodores lineup live supporting Queen of all people, and they were every bit as good.
 
2014-05-26 02:47:34 PM

AspectRatio: Boing Boing? Something something DRM something something STEAMPUNK something something PLEASE BUY MY shiatTY NOVEL something something 3D PRINTERS


You forgot Xeni's contributions: hate him hate her hate that hate them LOVE APPLE hate those hate everyone APPLE IS GOD hate corporations APPLE APPLE APPLE hate men hate women hate life hate death hate hate hate IPOD WOW
 
2014-05-26 02:49:54 PM

wildcardjack: lexnaturalis: What's interesting is so far it seems like Pandora just bases everything on how the music sounds. However there's no way to base it upon the actual content of the lyrics.

So if I wanted to create a metal station that had no profanity for my 5 year old I couldn't do that, but I could easily create a channel where everything sounds like Nickelback (of course then I'd shoot myself, but that's a side issue).

Sometimes I'm in the mood for a particular type of lyric, but that seems beyond Pandora's abilities.

Metal? You're worried about the use of swear words in a genre where vocals are run through bad mics and distortion pedals. I'd be more worried your 5 year old would pick up the style than the words.
I am going to shiat on a genre I know nothing about smugly


FTFTruth

Most female vocalists wish they had Tarja's voice.
 
2014-05-26 02:50:01 PM

Chaide: I'm generally a Pandora fan, but I wish you could blanket-dislike entire artists. It's not that I don't like Jimi Hendrix, but pressing 'thumbs down' on 5 separate Hendrix songs in a Heavy Metal station doesn't mean I want another song of his to see if I changed my mind.

That, and they tend to play less commercials at night (a reasonable 30 second commercial or two every 3-4 songs) as opposed to a commercial in between just about every song during rush hour.


Uh, that used to be a Pandora feature.  More than x thumbs downs on an artist blacklisted the artist from your playlist.

I guess that's changed since I used it?
 
2014-05-26 02:51:04 PM
So that's why they keep getting it wrong.
 
2014-05-26 02:51:13 PM

Chaide: That, and they tend to play less commercials at night (a reasonable 30 second commercial or two every 3-4 songs) as opposed to a commercial in between just about every song during rush hour.


Think the number of commercials varies quite a bit depending on the device you're listen on. The app on the xbox seems to play commercials every couple of songs but the app on my Onkyo receiver is maybe once every half hour.
 
2014-05-26 02:55:42 PM
I like Pandora, but they choose songs I dislike very, very often.  Even after customizing it for months.

Oh well, it's free music.  I'll live.
 
2014-05-26 02:57:13 PM

DemonEater: Chaide: I'm generally a Pandora fan, but I wish you could blanket-dislike entire artists. It's not that I don't like Jimi Hendrix, but pressing 'thumbs down' on 5 separate Hendrix songs in a Heavy Metal station doesn't mean I want another song of his to see if I changed my mind.

That, and they tend to play less commercials at night (a reasonable 30 second commercial or two every 3-4 songs) as opposed to a commercial in between just about every song during rush hour.

Uh, that used to be a Pandora feature.  More than x thumbs downs on an artist blacklisted the artist from your playlist.

I guess that's changed since I used it?


I'm not sure what number X is, but I've disliked a large amount of Hendrix songs on the station I mentioned. Probably around 10 at this point, but I'd have to go through my history (I know you can check Thumbs Up history, not sure about Thumbs Down). Even if what you say is the case, it'd be much less of an inconvenience to immediately blacklist an artist that isn't a good fit for your station.
 
2014-05-26 02:57:16 PM
So it's a bunch of hipsters sitting there sending obscure bands to you suggestion list?
 
2014-05-26 03:00:57 PM
So I have some person to blame for the 18 different remixes of the same song?  I figured only a computer would do that to me.  Oh, and all the live BS.  I can't downvote it without them thinking I don't like the studio version.  I also figured that would be a computer farking that up.
 
2014-05-26 03:01:34 PM
So when are they going to hire people clever enough to notice when we thumbs down a certain band every time?

/Where's the 'remove "artist" from station' feature?
 
2014-05-26 03:01:41 PM

EngineerAU: Think the number of commercials varies quite a bit depending on the device you're listen on. The app on the xbox seems to play commercials every couple of songs but the app on my Onkyo receiver is maybe once every half hour.


I can see that. I only listen to Pandora on a mobile phone plugged into my car's receiver, but I've still noticed a difference in commercial frequency depending on the time. I worked nights just a couple months ago and they were sparse. When I transferred to days, they seemed to become more frequent.
 
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