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.
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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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Then trekked downtown for the University Venture Fund conference. Presented to a group of budding college entrepreneurs. Lots of questions about how we survived the lean years.
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After the conference I drove down to visit The Music School in nearby American Fork. Every town needs one of these. Full after school program for kids of all ages. There’s just nothing quite a powerful for kids as music, in my opinion. It’s a fast growing private school that plans to expand significantly. Over a 1000 students in just 4 years of operation. Loved walking in on the steel drum ensemble class – how many places are you going to see that?!
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Got a very nice tour by Andy Shelton and spoke at length with the school’s mission. Clearly lots of passion for music.
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Shot back up to SLC for the town hall meeting. About 90 folks showed up. Another very enjoyable and informative evening. There were lots of questions about our company’s principles – how we would maintain our vision and purpose as we grow. That’s something we think a lot about, and in fact are spending quite a bit of time on collectively. Musicians and music lovers are very protective of both their own music and the fate of musicians in general. It’s really what makes this such a passionate category for people.
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I continue to really enjoy the comradarie that seems to follow music. I think it appeals to the best in all of us, and is one of those rare things that we ALL have in common – even if our tastes are different.
Perhaps the highlight of the trip was when one of the attendees walked up at the end and handed me the gift below. Nothing can make you feel quite as loved as someone baking something for you! She didn’t even know that rolls are my weakness… ate two, and gave the third to the poor fellow working outside the hotel on the night shift.
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What a way to end the trip. Next stop Portland, ME, NYC and Princeton, NJ.

Comments

  1. Helge
    January 24, 2007 at 11:07am
    I'm sorry I didn't make it. I haven't used Pandora for a while now. There are two reasons. One is that I don't seem to be able to get it to play music I actually like - except for the one performer who I started with. For some reason what I liked about one piece or performer doesn't seem to translate into genes in your music genome. The other is the limited selection. I was initially surprised that you have no classical music. (Don't know if that's changed.) You indicated that you didn't know how to describe a genome for classical music. That struck me as a very strange statement, since classical music is the single most studied category of music, and since it follows what amount to a comparatively small number of conventions. So it seems to me that your approach to describing a genome for a given piece and a given performance of that piece needs significant rework. It should be possible to include many more pieces in your project. How you currently do it may not scale easily to the vast quantity of music that people want to listen to, so that may need to change. And if people like me find themselves listening to too much music that they don't like, then that seems to indicate either that something about your genome needs fine-tuning, or maybe Pandora needs to pay a little more attention to the individual tastes of each listener.
    Reply
  2. Bob
    January 25, 2007 at 4:15pm
    I was there, and glad that I made the journey. It was well worth the time spent downtown. -Bob
    Reply
  3. Tim Westergren
    January 28, 2007 at 9:23am
    hi Helge - Classical is definitely something we plan to do.. so stay tuned. It's a completely different animal from rock, so it requires a different set of musical 'genes' and a dedicated team of analysts, but we'll get there. Scalability is always going to be an issue for us because we can as much as 30 minutes to do a single song. We always welcome feedback on stations that aren't working - so please feel free to let us know, we'll get to work figuring it out. Cheers. Tim (Founder)
    Reply
  4. xiao
    March 20, 2007 at 2:30pm
    when are you going to Utah again? My friend Johnny Thomas, known as Johnnycredit lives in Santa Clara, and he is a great guitar player. Hope you can meet him. If ever you have another chance.
    Reply
  5. Logan
    August 28, 2007 at 9:19pm
    I enjoy the stations and random play of the music closely related to my favorites. I was wondering if you offered any incentives to inviting friends to listen to Pandora. I was invited by a friend of mine and I plan on inviting others to check out and listen to Pandora. I believe some small incentive would help you grow and more people would be exposed to the music and artists you offer, surely this is the way you make money with this website. If not how is it that you are able to get the artist to freely share their music. Your intrigued listener, Logan
    Reply
  6. Mister Basmt
    October 03, 2007 at 9:40am
    When you make a return trip to Utah I have a few suggestions: 1. make sure you can make it to Brigham Young University's annual Guitars Unplugged concert. Hundreds of students try out each year and the best are showcased, well worth $10. 2. Check out local musicians like Bryant Bunnell (country), Steven Stucki(folk Rockish?), Joe Jensen (avant-garde tuba/electric tuba), Casados, Ben and Dan Tengelsen, Debra Fotheringham, Jerron Smith, and many more. 3. There are tons and tons of talented school bands and choirs in the area, for example the American Fork Marching Band. If you have the opportunity take the time! Well I hope you come out again soon and enjoy the local scene! Sincerely, Mister Basmt
    Reply
  7. Rachel
    December 08, 2007 at 8:03pm
    Glad you made it to the music school. They do an AMAZING job. My only wish was that it was closer (half an hour for music lessons can get kind of spendy on gas money). There's so much more for you to see in Utah so I hope you make it back some day. Also as someone above me mentioned music in the schools is huge. AFHS has one of the best marching bands in the nation right now.
    Reply
  8. Gale Boyd
    December 24, 2007 at 10:56am
    Our daughter introduced us to Pandora just a few days before Christmas. We entered "Celtic Woman Holiday" and ever since then have been listening 24/7 to the most beautiful Christmas music ever -- semi-classical, Il Divo, Vienna Boys' Choir, etc. The mood in our home has been full of the true spirit of Christmas because of this amazing music. Thank you!! We will be listening now forever more. We do like classical, but I'm also a Baby Boomer who loves rock. Listened to channel 46 on XM, which was laden with the best of rock from all eras-- you might call it "adult alternative." I'll search for that sort of thing on Pandora after Christmas. Would love a suggestion as to what artist/composition to enter to pull up a broad selection of the best of rock. I like everything from the Beatles to Metallica and beyond!!
    Reply
  9. Tamara
    June 16, 2008 at 2:10pm
    I am wondering why you don't have a repeat selection on the music. Some tunes I would like to hear again. I have a few favorites, and I like to sing along. Also I leave from my desk and I have missed out on some of the music. I would like to be able to go back and play them again.
    Reply
  10. Lucia @ Pandora
    June 16, 2008 at 5:24pm
    Hello Tamara - Thanks for your question! We'd love to offer song repeats, but unfortunately, we can't. Pandora adheres to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act webcaster licensing which restricts what we can do. One thing we can't do is what's called "song-on-demand". That would require a completely different set of licenses and would be far more expensive; we had to make some trade-offs! The DMCA licensing is the reason you don't hear a specific song when you launch a station, why there's only six song skips per hour per station, and why you can't rewind. The restrictions imposed on webcasters are intended to allow you to enjoy the music in a radio environment without replacing the legal purchase of music. But don't forget: you can always pause the music when you leave your desk, so you don't miss anything! :) Lucia
    Reply

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