Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Your Own Personal Dance Party

I love the radio. There are some things about the radio I hate. I hate radio edits of songs. I hate hearing Lady Gaga's "Yoü and I" and "Nebraska" has been changed to "North Carolina." (It's distracting.) I hate going on long trips and changing the radio station partway through and as a result hearing the same song three or four or five times in a day.

But overall, I love the radio. I love music. Sometimes I even enjoy ads. Occasionally there are entertaining or informative shows. I can put up with a bunch of ads if I get to belt out at least one terrible pop song while I drive.

My only problem with the radio is that I gave my clock radio to my little brother years ago when I found an alarm clock with two-inch letters. I'm nearsighted. And as a result, I can't listen to the radio without my car.

My solution: Pandora Internet radio! (Other solutions include streaming the local radio stations, but Pandora is better except it doesn't tell me the weather.)

Pandora's history has been a little crazy, but now they seem to have come to an agreement with the party-pooping music business running people. For free, Pandora listeners get forty hours of music a month and a few ads. You can create a station based on a song or an artist, and then Pandora gives you songs that it feels you would like based on which ones you tell it you enjoy.

It's a neat little system. There are some kinks to work out. As far as I know, there is no way to tell it that while I like this song I don't care for the live version with the crowd. But I can put together a station whose basis is Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys and relive my childhood. And I can have a station full of Spanish artists that Pandora recommended to me. Now I can proudly sing about two lines of Shakira's "She-Wolf" in Spanish while doing dishes!

Oh, and for a mere $36 a year, you can get unlimited music with no ads. I'm not going to pony up for it, personally, but you may feel like it.

Check it out yourself at!

Signing off,


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