The Not-So-Evil Box of Music


Trevor Acy

Music is one of my things, just ask anyone that knows me. I own more CDs than most people and almost always have music playing, whether I’m relaxing, working, reading, or studying. Even with all the music I own, I sometimes get bored of the same songs and artists over and over again. Thankfully, a few months ago I StumbledUpon the Music Genome Project at Pandora Radio.

Pandora has since become one of my most frequented websites. What Pandora does is allow you, with as few (or as many) clicks of your mouse as you like, to create radio stations tailored to only music you like. Also, you can create multiple stations for all the different types of music you listen to. For instance I have a radio station for my Rock side, one for my more mellow side, and then a few specific radio stations for when I’m studying. It’s all very simple to set up and can be as quick and easy as you wish or you can really dive into this thing and create the perfect music environment for yourself.

For the full “How To” check out Pandora’s FAQ page, paying particular attention to section 3 about setting up stations. But I’ll give you the quick run-down here also. After creating an account, which takes only a couple of steps, you’ll be asked about your first station. All you have to do is enter the name of a Band or a Song that you want to build your station around. Then Pandora will do it’s thing and search through it’s music database using the Music Genome Project. You can read about the MGP here, but what it does is basically compares the Band or Song you enter to thousands of other Bands and Songs and picks ones that match your taste. Then just like that, the radio station starts playing.

As songs play you have the option to give them a Thumbs Up or a Thumbs Down. These do about what you would expect, if you don’t like the song then give it a Thumbs Down and the radio will proceed to the next song and take that particular song out of your playlist for good. Thumbs Up means that song is exactly the kind of music you want on that radio station and Pandora should do it’s best to put more songs like that on your station. You can also tag specific Songs or Bands which will expand your station since the Music Genome Project will have a larger sample to compare other music against.

It is extremely simple, very rewarding, and of course completely free. There are tons of other features that you can play around with, like making a mega-station (a randomization of all your stations). And oh yeah, you can share your stations with friends. All of the more advanced features can be found in the same FAQ that I linked to earlier only check under the fourth section titled “Advanced Features.”


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I am a senior at Miss. State Univ, majoring in International Business. I keep up with Sports, Music, and Technology like no one's business.

7 thoughts on “The Not-So-Evil Box of Music”

  1. One of my high school teachers introduced me to Pandora! This is an awesome resource. The MGP is a super idea and it’s great that the we get to benefit from it!

  2. Pandora is great! I discovered it last week as I was studying for finals…I love it and will definitely visit again.

  3. That’s great. Glad it could be of assistance. Music is a great learning tool and I could not agree with you more on that. You’ll be able to create those different moods by creatively constructing your stations. I hope you enjoy Pandora as much as I do.

  4. Thank you for this post. I am a future teacher and a firm believer in the use of music in the classroom. Music affects your mood, engages creativity, and supports cultural learning. However, I do not want to limit my class to the contents of my cd collection, and I certainly do not have the means by which to purchase all the music I would like to play. Pandora is a solution I was not aware of until now. I will definitely be implementling this technology in my classroom.

  5. I’m so sorry, Emily.

    It was a horribly sad day for us when we were asked by licensing bodies to shut off Pandora to countries outside the U.S. Audio content streaming regulations differ from country to country, and currently it is only legal for us to stream Pandora in the United States.

    Delivery of Pandora is based on proper licensing from the content rights holders – we have always believed strongly in honoring the guidelines as determined by the artists, labels and publishers. In the U.S. there is a federal statute called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that provides this license for all the music you hear on Pandora. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent license outside the U.S.

    We have high hopes that licensing will become easier, and it’s a priority for us to become a global radio. Keep in touch, Emily!


    p.s. Thanks for the profile comment, Trevor!

  6. I was totally addicted to Pandora at home. Sad though, I can’t listen to it now that I live in South America. I use pretty frequently although it doesn’t compare to pandora. I’d love Lucia’s thoughts on the “I live on another continent plight.”

  7. Hi Trevor –

    Nice post! Thanks for listening to Pandora, and for spreading the word. It’s great to hear that you’re enjoying Pandora so much. Let me know if you have any comments or questions!

    Nice video too!

    🙂 Lucia, from Pandora

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