Here’s the last in our series of blog posts that showcase some of the musical works of our Music Analysts. As you know, every song you listen to on Pandora has been carefully analyzed by our trained staff, to figure out its building blocks so that it can be matched to other songs. But in addition to analyzing songs for Pandora, they play music. I’ve been posting a few of the Pandora stations on which you can hear some of our Music Analysts, which as you have probably noticed, represents quite a range of styles. Take a listen! (click here for the first , second , third, and fourth Analyst spotlights.)
Alan Lin can be found playing the violin on a variety of stations! You can find him playing with Pandora staff, such as Ariah Firefly and Michael Zapruder’s Rain of Frogs. Here’s three more artists whose Pandora stations feature Alan’s work: Etienne de Rocher plays catchy-but-intelligent pop music from the swamps of Alabama, with a large helping of soul. David Hopkins, a school-mate of Damien Rice’s, writes beautiful, heart-wrenching love songs as well as catchy ditties. Noe Venable is a sonic poet that a music reviewer once declared to be the secret love-child of Tom Waits and Rickie Lee Jones.
The group made up of the most Pandorans is called Michael Zapruder’s Rain of Frogs. In addition to non-Pandora musicians, this talented group consists of Steve Hogan (pictured below), Jeff Anthony, Kurt Kotheimer (who’s also in 24 Hr USA), Alan Lin, Yair Evnine, Josh Smith and obviously, Michael Zapruder. You should come to their CD release party on August 17th, at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. Their CD features beautifully written moody songs with deeply interesting lyrics. Their mellow sound showcases lots of strings, sometimes horns, and reminds me at times of Elvis Costello or Rufus Wainwright.
This is Steve Hogan, our head Music Analyst and stellar human being. In this photo he’s in our music library, playing that Sesame Street song, “These are the people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood……” He had sung it to his baby as a lullaby the night before (without the accordion!), and the tune just stuck in his head.
It’s been really fun for me to learn a bit more about the musical efforts of my co-workers, though you’d be surprised how hard it was to get many of them to offer up information about their bands. These are some talented cats, and you know what they say about herding cats…. I hope that you, dear listener, enjoyed getting to know the music of some of our Analysts as well; there’s so much music in our collection to try out! Get to it!
cheers, Lucia


  1. Usman
    July 26, 2006 at 7:48pm
    (Wow, sorry this is so long...) Subject: Thanks & *Feature/Technical* Suggestions Just wanted to add one more to the many thanks you've already received. I listen to Pandora more than I listen to my own music collection, which is huge and full of stuff I know I already like. This is a great accomplishment in and of itself. Anyway, I can still think of lots of ways that Pandora can improve, or at least some cool features I know I'd like to see. These range from petty to useful, but are listed in no particular order: - Advanced/detailed preferences. It may break the abstraction barrier a bit, but it would be cool if you could give users the ability to somehow tweak the desired 'genes' expressed in each of their stations to a degree greater than a simple per-song thumbs up/down. I know there would probably be TONS of checkboxes involved, but if my rap station somehow thinks I want to hear Britney Spears, it would be nice to selectively 'kill off' the genes that led to that inference. Survival of the fittest, eh? - "Mood" stations. I notice people often make playlists from their music collections based on moods. This may be an extension of the above suggestion, but letting users pre-pick the genes for a station might allow them to better mold the station's "mood"; you might even allow the user to generate a subset of the available genes based on songs/artists they initially add to the station so they don't have to wade through all of the hundreds that the analysts can see. From this subset, they could specify which of the traits to "never" express, "preferably always" express, or "sometimes" express? It would be really cool to see this implemented. - "More stations from this user." If I'm listening to a station from a user whose email address I don't know, it would be nice to see what other shared stations they have. This might also merit the added option of... - Selectively designating one's own radio stations as "shareable/visible" or "not shareable/visible". Maybe I don't want anyone who knows my email address to know that I listen to Richard Cheese and 2 Live Crew? It would be nice to allow a user to choose what stations they are sharing with the world. - Tooltips >> Scrolling. Sometimes the Song/Artist/Album names are longer than the allotted space.. it would be nice to have a better way to see the entire name than the hover-and-scroll method currently in place (which, for some reason, works only for long artist/album names and not long song titles). Tooltips come to mind, but there may be even better ways, I dunno. - Forms for feature suggestions & bug reports? I know there a few ways to suggest music, but is there an easy way for users to suggest new features, aside from commenting on the blog? ;] It also looks like there's a very minor bug in the blog's comment preview, as my post starts above the PANDORA logo, apparently hiding the first line or two.. (only tried in Firefox). - I swear I had more technical suggestions, but I can't remember anymore, so I'll shamelessly suggest some music: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Amun Ra, Kletka Red, Vinx, DaVinci's Notebook, DJ Assault, Group X, Philip Glass, einLab... I'll stop here before I double the size of this post. Please let me know if you have any plans to implement any of the above-mentioned features! Thanks and keep up the good work, Usman P.S. - Noe Venable is indeed awesome -- I added her to my favorite female artists station ("Bestrogen": a few weeks ago, thanks to Pandora.
  2. Usman
    July 26, 2006 at 7:51pm
    Oops, I'm stupid: "EMAIL CONTACT: Customer Support and Product Feedback Inquiries" ... Looks like I should've emailed that instead...? -Usman
  3. ObiWanKeenobi
    July 28, 2006 at 7:17am
    I've blogged it before and I'll blog it again, I too am begging for access to the gene information that stations use, or at the VERY least the ability to cross reference songs within a station to emphasise what genes I am listening for. Thanks.
  4. andres
    July 28, 2006 at 11:44am
    hi... just wanted to say "GREAT JOB" !!!! thanks a lot, i love the pandora project.
  5. iZ
    July 29, 2006 at 9:49am
    hey,now i feel that i couldn't live with out pandora in my life...that's truth and now some of my friend know pandora and started to enjoy it,some of them call it"something i used to search for,finally i get it,this pandora is the right thing." all we know that compare with making the playlist in your pc played,listening on the pandora is much to say,sorry for my's cool and awesome,i mean this,seriously,and we should all thank those guys out there helping gethering,listening and analyzing the songs,thanx guys,thanx a lot.
  6. luciano
    July 29, 2006 at 2:51pm
    hi. i just wanted to say that you don't have to listen to those who complain about this and that. your work is one of the most well done i ever seen. you don't deserve bastards saying bullshits because they are wanting to have control about every aspect and see the backbones of the system. keep all the work this way. greetings from argentina (don't tell anyone i am not on the US). cya.
  7. cynthia L Henderson
    July 29, 2006 at 11:21pm
    Hi ~ new subscriber here and I love it! Can't tear myself away from adding music to "MY STATIONS!" This is so great! I would like to see more international music, especially more east Asian artists like Ali Akbhar Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Jagjit Singh, to name a few. There is a growing following of Indian music in the US ... I like the fusion stuff too; but the "Masters" are the best! Thanks again!
  8. Lee
    July 31, 2006 at 2:01pm
    Hey, love the service; it would be cool if it could do user tagging, though IE, I could label a song: accoustic, blues, female vocalist, modern. Create different "genes". It could work in tandem with the existing system.
  9. Jason Heath
    July 31, 2006 at 4:44pm
    I think that your service is extremely cool. I originally heard Leo Laporte talking about Pandora on his podcasts, and I was really blown away when I checked our your service and by the Music Genome Project as a whole. The user interface and recommendation engine work great. I'm starting to listen to Pandora every day!
  10. Charles
    August 01, 2006 at 2:09am
    It is good that you are working hard to get a better music player for each and every person that decides to use your site. But what about the peole that like random music, music from local artists. Are you ever going to have a spot for local artists? And please not just any artist that wants to have somthing on the net it would have to people that are actually good. I am not an artist but i know what i like and for me i look at new music objectivelly. This is just one suggestion to help filter out music that is crap from local artist. thank you for your time.

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