Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Saturday, April 23, 2011

Product Summary:
Pandora.com is a website where teens can listen to music for free! As part of the Music Genome Project, which began in 2002, this service allows users to type in their favorite artist and provide radio stations containing the music by those artists as well other musicians with similar styles. Users can create a free account and make as many stations as they want. The way music is selected is incredibly interesting since it pairs popular artists with indie artists, which provides listeners with an unknown alternatives; not only does Pandora play new music, but helps up and coming artists build their fan bases. 



Critical Evaluation:
What began as a project is now a full fledged service where individuals can upgrade their accounts, which allows users hours upon hours of music, no commercials, and more opportunities to skip tracks. Teen do need their parents to upgrade their account (since it requires a credit card number), but, with any website, parents need to be aware that the music is uncensored; if they do not want their child listening to certain music, then they should make an account for themselves and grant their child provisional access. Pandora is now a mobile app for smartphones so any teen with an iPhone or Droid can download this application for 24/7 music with no additional uploading.What would a teen be without music? Unfortunately, with any free application, there are occasional advertisements and users can only skip a maximum of three tracks an hour, but nothing long enough to kill the mood for music. There is plenty of variety for users to listen to; however, if this is the only station that is being listened to then there is a higher chance of predicting the soundtrack. Whatever the case, teens will enjoy having music at their grasp 24/7 whether they are at home on their computer, in the car, or walking around.

Information about the Company:
According to Time Westergren, Founder of the Music Genome Project, "[o]n January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever." (para.1). Pandora Radio is the custodian of the Music Genome Project where a whole group of listeners literally listened to thousands of song where every element was analyzed and grouped together by their common elements. Westergren also states:
Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like (para. 2).
Pandora Radio continues to evolve as one of the top online music radio resources where it now has a mobile app on smartphones and the iPhone. 
 
Genre:
Teen Websites

Reading Level/Interest:
All ages

Sites Similar to Pandora:
 Awards & Recognition:
  • 2010 Webby Award Winner
  • 2010 Peoples Voice Award

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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