Friday, May 18, 2007

Pandora is dead, long live Pandora!

For those of you who didn't hear about it until now, Pandora is a free online music service that tries to detect characteristics of songs and allows you to make your own "radio stations" that play the songs or artists you like and/or songs that are similar to those you like. You have a nice and simple voting system that allows you to say if you like the currently playing song or not.

But lately, some new legislation in the US, making licencing for the Internet a few times more expensive and adding more restrictions for access outside US made them restrict the site. Now you can't listen to music on Pandora unless you are American.

However, there is no way they can be restricted from showing the relations between songs, so you can search the songs for yourself. Here is a excerpt of an email I received from Pandora about allowing access to their song clustering system:
email from Pandora
You can essentially use our Backstage service ( as a recommendation tool. If you search for an artist and click on their image, then you will see a list of Similar Artists. If you select an album, then you will see a list of Similar Albums. If you select a song from that album, you'll be presented with Similar Songs, along with 'Features of this Song'.

This is essentially the same information that the tuner was using to find new music for you. The big difference with Backstage is that you won't have any audio.