Lovefool: 2: Pandora

i am going to be having a music-based theme this week. i am looking to consider and address different aspects of how digitalization, technological distribution, and social media have affected our consumption and understanding of music.


this is the second official post of project Lovefool, wherein i promised i would:
"post about how much i love your brand. why i love your brand. and how much i'm willing to talk about how much i love your brand."

this is actually proving harder than i'd thought. i definitely hardcore love less brands than i'd previously thought. sure, i like a lot. but we all know how fickle i can be with brands. heh. anyway...

target #2: Pandora

why you should care:
if you're into music, this is the thing you want to be paying attention to. yes, stereogum, pitchfork, and obscure are awesome too, but to my knowledge they just hook me up with new tunes and don't yet create entire radio stations for me. Pandora will make radio stations just for you with music you WILL like. they're the best site to date to accomplish this. to boot, you can follow Pandora on twitter and get to know the folks behind it. Lucia at @pandora_radio is a favourite of mine, but there's also @pandora_kevin, too.

why i love them:
i have finely tuned at least 3 of my stations to the point where not one song i dislike comes on. i love that. rather than submit a band or a song i like and have an entire station based off of that, Pandora lets me add multiple bands or songs and configures the station to my exact tastes, rather than "artists similar to X." this combined with the thumb up/down function to better instruct the station makes this net radio amazing. i can listen to other members' stations as well as add an already existing station as my own to finesse, as i did with @spdracerx, whose riot grrrl station had a few years on my own, on the recommendation of Lucia.

i know this sounds simple, but for example, take Last.fm. sure, they can track what i'm listening to, which i grant is cool. but my "neighbours" never listen to what i like, and their stations are so vague that i hate almost everything that comes up. i put in Panic! at the Disco as a band i like, and i'm stuck listening to Simple Plan. GAG ME WITH A SPOON. i hate Simple Plan. i hate Good Charlotte. i hate most anything they toss up. so i stopped listening. no amount of scrobblizing or whatever is going to bring me back when i can't even stomach the music--or, for that matter, the fluctuating levels. constantly adjusting my volume DNE fun.

i also love that when i find music i like with Pandora, i can click on the song and it links directly to iTunes to let me buy it. yes, i am one of those oddballs who's alright with paying .99 per song (i also still purchase CDs, but hey, that's me). my only sadness about this is on iTunes' part: they don't yet sell every song Pandora offers. for example, i couldn't purchase More Than I Can by Jane Jensen (though i could add it to my myspace profile!). it's just a little counterintuitive. another thing Pandora has on Last.fm: i buy CDs from Amazon, not .mp3s. iTunes pwns there. in short, Pandora has made it easier to locate new music i love online, taking the place of a net radio that died for me (i used to use Spinner in high school).

how much i'm willing to talk about how much i love them:
well, i already chat them up any time i'm listening or talking about music online; i reference them in this blog quite a bit; if they were on SocialVibe, Pandora would be my sponsor and help me support my favourite charity; if Pandora made buttons or tee shirts, i would wear them (but they don't). i do refer Pandora to my friends. where music in concerned, they are the top online tool that i talk about. they do what they do well, and that gets a huge kudos in my book.

how much i love them/aka/the backstory:
! Pandora is important to me because it filled a void.

! in high school, i was that girl who knew seventy bands you'd never heard of (but would in a few years); i knew the EPs, what would make great singles, where they came from, what their band name meant, and probably knew either their booker or their main contact. it's what made me originally want to go into music business.

! since going to college and realizing that music business didn't have a future as i knew it, and that entertainment law was bloody boring, etc etc, i threw myself into the english/writing/art aspect i'd also done in high school, forgoing my musical hobbies in favour of newfound passion and a sincere lack of time due to work and classes.

! since graduating, i miss indulging that part of myself. being into music was part of what defined me as a person. without that piece, i had felt somehow less myself. Pandora is helping me to get back to where i want to be.

...previous lovefool projects: To Write Love on Her Arms.

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