The Pandora Team


We’ve made a handful of changes tonight at Pandora. Among these are one you can just barely see, and one you can’t see at all.
The first is a tiny (some would say almost invisible) progress indicator underneath the album art for the currently playing song to give you an idea of how much time is left in the song. It’s just a tiny little stripe. Look for it closely.
The other change is a pretty big one, but you won’t be able to see it at all. You’ll have to listen for it. We’ve updated our playlist engine to play a greater variety of music on your stations. For some time we’ve known that we weren’t playing the full breadth of songs in the Music Genome Project collection. This was a problem with our approach to playlist generation; it really didn’t have anything to do with the size of the collection itself. We’ve been hard at work on this, and tonight we’re rolling out a significant upgrade to the playlist generator. Don’t expect to notice a big change right away, in fact it might take a few hours of listening before you notice at all, but it’s there. Your stations really will be playing all kinds of music that they wouldn’t have before. Hope you enjoy the new music.
One other feature in this release that’s worth pointing out is a new choice in Guide Us: “I’m tired of this song.” Let’s face it, there are some great songs out there that we’ve all heard just one too many times. Now there’s a way to tell Pandora that you’ve heard something one too many times: just click Guide Us and select the “I’m tired of this song” choice and we’ll put the current song back on the shelf and not play it again on any of your stations in the next 30 days.
As always, this release has a number of other subtle little changes; my favorite this time out is that the songs fade out as you skip or change stations. Just another tiny little detail.

Denton, TX

For those who don’t know about Denton, its time to find out. It’s a small town about 30 minutes north of Dallas and is home to the nation’s largest, and most distinguished music program – the University of North Texas. Their ‘1-O’clock’ jazz band is world renowned, and truly the gold standard for undergraduate jazz performance.

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Dallas, Part 2

Dallas part 2
Started the afternoon hanging out with Chelsea and Tony – diehard music fans from Crystal Clear – a Dallas distributor. They focus on the local Texas sound – gave me a box full of stuff to check out. Interesting to know that virtually none of the musicians they gave me are making a living at it. Let’s hope we can start building the musician’s middle class.

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Dallas, Part 1

Wow. This was a day of love and good karma. Texas has an extraordinary music scene, period.
First, the morning.
Guided by our local guardian angel, Kim Young to whom I will be forever grateful, I spent the morning at Booker T. Washington high school. Probably the nation’s most productive music magnet school, whose alums include Erykah Badhu, Norah Jones, and countless others.

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Meetup in Denton, TX

Meetup is set for this week, Wednesday evening (3/22/2006) at 7:00pm
The Flying Tomato
1226 W Hickory Street, Denton
(940) 383 1111
Come by for some food, drink, music talk and maybe a flying tomato or two…

Austin, Day 3

Coming up for air.
Spent a great evening over Texas ribs (and a string of awesome bluegrass bands) with Stuart Sullivan, owner of Wire Studios, and a veteran recording engineer. Grew up in rural Indiana, eventually gravitating to the music mecca of Austin, via Bloomington and a degree in audio recording at IU. It was a period of revolution in recording – multi-tracking arrived which completely transformed the art of making records, and suddenly elevated the role of the producer and audio engineer who’s talents could now be harnessed – instead of just placing mics for a one-take live recording. Lots of experimentation (often aided by assorted substances) as artists pushed the new medium. John Lennon sang hanging upside down from a rope, spinning around to emulate the sound of a rotating leslie amp… crazy and great.

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More from SXSW

More great thoughts from Kevin Seal at South By Southwest:
My last post went up when SxSW’s music program hit its halfway point, and it’s been a flurry of activity since then. Friday night’s big plays made for an overloaded highlight reel: Dungen (after a transatlantic flight, their drummer still managed to guide those songs with an impossibly light touch and the most subtle of ghost-strokes), the Freak Accident (squealing trumpet, stomping singalong, squiggly synth, Sharrocking guitar — Jello Biafra was standing next to me through their whole set, and he loved it too), Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings (dry, dead-sexy classic soul with a full Stax-bred horn section and a simmering rhythm section), and Neko Case (her lyrics fascinate me — no one else can describe hitting a deer with her car and have the song seep with such a disturbing combination of dread and religion and sticky sensuality).

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sxsw digest 3 = roundup

so sxsw is over and I’m back home, sitting in the living room. I’m too tired to nap – go figure. my bags and guitar are still in texas most likely, and I’m too tired to even be properly angry about that. I know I have to post some pictures and summary show notes before the memories fade too much. it was a great long weekend…

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rare birds and such

well, the booth’s all packed up and in the hands of (hopefully) capable shipping companies, and I’m in the austin airport waiting for my plane, drinking some tea, and feeling very tired but good. I’m thinking about this email I got yesterday:

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sxsw digest no 1

it’s been quite excellent here in austin so far. every hour at the pandora booth is surprisingly fun and also kind of intense. I don’t usually talk this much. it’s sort of like a high school reunion, but it’s better because I don’t know these people (and let’s be honest, it’s easier to go to a reunion where no one knew each other back in high school). I’m hoarse. jolly ranchers do not help for this.

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