Next time you flip through your iPod and think, “There’s nothing in here I want to listen to,” don’t turn on the radio—log on to www.pandora.com.
Oakland-based Pandora Media was born out of the Music Genome Project, which analyzed and categorized the work of more than 10,000 recording artists. Log on and enter the name of a song or an artist you like, and the site will isolate the defining characteristics of that song or artist and then generate a playlist of songs that share those qualities.
For example, if you enter “Rogue Wave” (see next page), you’ll get a playlist of songs by bands similar to the Oakland indie rockers, including Wilco and Waterloo. If you enter El Cerrito’s “Creedence Clearwater Revival,” you’ll get a dynamic mix, including the Youngbloods, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and, surprisingly, Audioslave. And if you enter “Tell Me When to Go,” the hit single by Blackhawk rapper E-40, you’ll get a playlist of hyphy hip-hop, including songs by Oakland’s Too Short and Fairfield’s The Federation.