Category Archives: Music

My Mixed Results with Pandora

I finally took the Pandora plunge. My results have been mixed. I’ve created four stations so far, liking and disliking my way through the selections Pandora picked out for me.

Here’s my imaginary visit to the Pandora Shoe Store on the best station so far:

Me: Hi, I’d like a pair of shoes similar to the ones I’m wearing now.
Pandora: Okay, let me see, here’s a selection of shoes that are similar in style, color, or brand.
Me: Good selection, thanks. You’ve got my business.

Here’s my visit to the Pandora Shoe Store on the most frustrating station:

Me: Hi, I’d like a pair of shoes similar to the ones I’m wearing now.
Pandora: Okay, here, I picked out a shirt for you.
Me: No, I said I want shoes — similar to what I’m wearing now.
Pandora: Okay, how about this other shirt? By the way, I’d like you to meet some 50+ women.
Me: No. Shoes, please, similar to these loafers I’m wearing. Anyway, that shirt looks just like the last one. (And how do I give a thumbs-down to the 50+ women? I’m already happy with the one I’ve got!)
Pandora: Ah, okay. Here’s a nice pair of sandals.
Me: Wrong again. I might like those when I’m shopping for sandals, but I’m not shopping for sandals.
Pandora: Can I interest you in some stiletto heels? By the way, I’d like you to meet some 50+ women.
Me: Nope.
Pandora: Oh, alright, here’s a pair of loafers.
Me: Thanks. Thumbs up.
Pandora: Now try these on. By the way, I’d like you to meet some 50+ women.
Me: That’s a pack of cigarettes.
Pandora: I’m sorry, you’ve turned down too many things already. Right now it’s the cigarettes or nothing. Come back another day and we’ll do this again. By the way, I’d like you to meet some 50+ women.

My two stations that have worked out best are:

The most frustrating station is my “Frank Zappa” station, which I’m tempted to rename to “Frustration Station.” First, Pandora decided that what I really wanted was lots and lots of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix — not what I want if I feel like listening to Zappa. Eventually, it decided that what I really wanted was lots and lots of King Crimson — also mostly not what I felt like listening to if I was after a Zappa sound. Currently, it hasn’t completely let go of its King Crimson obsession, and it has latched onto Jeff Beck. I like a lot of what Jeff Beck has done, but it’s not always what I’m after on this station. Pandora still slips in the occasional Frank Zappa or those with somewhat similar sounds (as if anybody really sounds like Zappa), but I might give up on the station if it doesn’t shape up.

Jim

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