Broadcast music radio may be dying, but personalized Internet streams are just getting started, and Oakland’s Pandora.com has invented one of the most humanistic playlist generators on the market. While on-demand services allow you to program sequences (or follow those of other professional and lay programmers), Pandora generates playlists based on a cross-product of your taste and an innovative analysis of genome-like music fundamentals that include harmony, rhythm, and instrumentation. Do you like basic rock songs in a major key with electric rhythm guitars, prominent organ, and a vocal-centric aesthetic? Might we recommend The Kingsman’s cover of “Shake a Tail Feather”? Using Pandora is simple: Specify a favorite song or group, start listening to your personalized stream, and then rate songs thumbs-up or -down to refine Pandora’s picks. You can stream your channel through your computer, smartphone, iPad, or home audio device for free for forty hours each month. Paid upgrades remove the monthly cap and in-stream advertising, so you can enjoy the reggae feel, antiphony, extensive vamping, vocal harmony, and minor key of “Funky Kingston” without limit or interruption.
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