I’ve taken a proper lunch hour today to write this . . . One of the highlights of my Christmas was being introduced to Pandora. Pandora is (was) a very special internet radio station. It is a brilliant concept. It is unlike other internet radio stations which simply use the internet as a broadcast medium for a very tradition radio service.
Pandora plays a sequence of music based on a personal favourite tune or artist that you enter. The sequence of tunes have similarities with the tune or artist that you used to ‘seed’ the playlist. Pandora draws on the tagged database of music that is the ‘Music Genome Project‘ to do this.
One thing you realise when you use Pandora is the amazing amount of music there is out there by artists you’ve never heard of. It is a brilliant way to discover new music.
Anyway, I was saddened this morning to receive an email from Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, saying that from 15 January all UK users will be blocked from the service. The full text of the email is here. I’m gutted.
I buy a minimum of 40 CDs a year. I really like contemporary music. I know I wouldn’t be able to stop myself buying more if only I could find new artists I like. Pandora was about to be bad news for my wallet but very good news for the music industry. It was going to be especially good for new bands who are never going to get shelf space on the High Street, or into the catalogues of the big mailorder companies.
OK, I’m disappointed as the music industry are about to take away a service I really enjoy but I also think that, in this move, the music publishers are harming the very industry they are supposed to support.
If Tim wants to launch a campaign for a UK-based implementation of Pandora, he can count on my support.
I’m not sure if you can still register before switch-off day (15/1/08) but Pandora is worth a look. Stuck for a zipcode? Use this one: 20500 (The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC!).