The Pandora Team

Miami Meetup!

Update: We’ve decided on a place and time for our upcoming Florida meet-up, which will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. Full details of the event are below. You can RSVP by emailing with “Miami” in the subject line. Hope to see you there!
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, Paradise Courtyard
770 NE 125th St, North Miami, FL
When: Tuesday, March 27th, 2007 – doors open 6:30 PM, event @ 7 PM
(MOCA has also generously offered to keep the Museum open for Pandora listeners, so feel free to check out their fantastic current exhibit: “Merce Cunningham: Dancing on the Cutting Edge” before and after the event!)
Hey Everybody,
Next month, I’ll be coming to Miami to host a get-together with music lovers in the area. It’ll be my chance to connect with Pandora listeners and get some feedback from you about the service, as well as hopefully answer some questions you may have about the Music Genome Project.
We’re still in the planning stages for the meetup, and would love to get your suggestions of where to hold it. We’re looking for comfortable, intimate spaces that can hold at least 100 people. If you have any thoughts, please post them below! You can also email us at if you have suggestions as well. No idea is too big or small!
Tim (Founder)

Play Listen Repeat Vol. 4

Some good friends and I get together every few weeks to hang out, listen to songs and to talk about how we think they work. This past week we talked about several pairs of songs that sound similar but are still very different in mood or meaning. One of the examples was Good Old Desk by Harry Nilsson vs. Hummingbird by Wilco).
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After a while, the discussion about individual songs expanded into a general aesthetics nerd-off, and after reading up on the subject a bit (online – no book recommendations yet), I find myself wondering how you listeners evaluate the music you like.
What are the characteristics you look for in songs and artists? How many different ways can a song work for you? Do you distinguish between so-called “guilty pleasures” and music that is somehow “great”? If so, is the distinction a matter of taste, or a result of some kind of systematic philosophy?
Do tell…
ps – Wow, many new books for me to read now. Thanks to everyone for posting, even if it makes my bookshelf collapse…. I’m going to keep posting to that entry as I find more good music books, and I encourage everyone to do the same, if inspired.

Phoenix, AZ recap

FInally time to catch up on the cross country swing from before the holidays – AZ, CO, DC. Kicked it off with a lovely visit to the Arizona desert. Balmy weather.
I started the day with fun visit to the Cahill Senior Center to meet with some older listeners. Was hit with caustic glances when I suggested we try a Tommy Dorsey station to start… they wanted some ‘rock stuff’, like Coldplay, U2 etc. and “some country”. “classic country?” I asked… “no, you fool, Leanne Rimes and Keith Urban..” Talk about stereotyping… guilty. Very fun to see how easy Pandora was for folks who aren’t all about technology. They talked about sharing it with their grandkids. Love it! Thanks to Diana for being such a gracious host.
Then drove over the Thunderbird – the big local business school for a chat with some energetic entrepreneurs. Lots of questions about the business model, not surprisingly…

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UC Berkeley Recap..

Another much belated recap… gradually catching up. Great to finally host a town hall meeting in what is truly our own backyard… Berkeley, CA. Not suprisingly, the group was full of ideas and irreverence.
A number of great discussions, including a lot of talk about integrating with existing collections…

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Pandora Podcast #4: Recording Vocals

The fourth show of our podcast series just went up! We return to the human voice for this one, and check out what singers and producers can do to record the most expressive vocal tracks.
We talk about people who sang quietly and close to the microphone (Marvin Gaye) as well as people who let the sounds of their breath help color their performances (Elliott Smith). This show also goes into mic technique, and plosives, and backing vocal blend. It’s much fun. The special guest for this episode is Ariah Firefly, a soul singer and songwriter. Ariah is originally from Brooklyn, but now lives in L.A.
Check it out here.
Subscribing to the podcast is easy, and it’s the best way to get the new episodes loading onto your machine automatically. On the podcast page, there are links to help you set up your free subscription. Enjoy!

Salt Lake City Recap

Terrific visit to SLC. Arrived in the middle of the night. Quite a shock to board a plane early evening in CA and get off at midnight in Utah. Pretty sizeable temperature swing.
Started the next morning with an interview on the local NPR affiliate, KCPW. Thanks to Lara Jones for having us on her show and for the subsequent (podcast)… Local radio has such a great vibe to me…
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Play Listen Repeat Vol. 3

Hello again everyone,
Thanks for all the great responses last week. It’s nice to have such a vibrant, participatory group!
On my desk right now, I have a bunch of books, including “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” by Jeff Chang, “Sound of the Beast – The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal” by Ian Christe, and “The Latin Beat” by Ed Morales. I have a very large stack of music books both here and at home, and I’m constantly nibbling away at them to find more great music for Pandora.
I thought it would be interesting to ask you folks what your favorite music books are. Do tell!
Meanwhile, to get things started, here are a few of mine:
Emotion and Meaning in Music by Leonard Meyer
Words and Music by Paul Morley

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Salt Lake City Get-together this Thursday!

This Thursday, I’ll be in Salt Lake City to meet Pandora listeners and music lovers at the downtown Main Library. Looking forward to hearing what your thoughts are about the service and current trends in digital music. If you’re in the area, please stop by! Full details are below.
When: Thursday, January 18th, 2007 at 7:30 pm
Where: Salt Lake City Main Library, Auditorium
210 East 400 South (map)
Hope to see you there!
Tim (Founder)

Play Listen Repeat Vol. 2

From what I can tell, there are two main types of Pandora listeners: the “I have a single station that contains everything I like” listeners, and the “I have separate stations for each artist, mood, flavor, and occasion” listeners.
Personally, I tend much more towards the latter (especially since I can mix all my stations with the Quick Mix button if I want to). But I can be an adventurous fellow, and so I’m curious to know what your station-creation strategies, habits, superstitions, and obsessions are. Who knows, maybe I’ll change my stripes?
In that spirit, this week’s Play Listen Repeat asks: how do you make your stations? Got any tips for other listeners? Have you developed a station-creation system that you’d like to share?
I’m very curious.
ps – the response to last week’s post was amazing. Just for kicks, I made a mega-station from every single artist seed anyone put in last week. Not to get sentimental, but it’s our very first station! If you’re feeling brave, check it out here.
pps – bonus points for anyone who can think of good names for the two main types of station creators. My names: bears and squirrels.