Opening Pandora’s Box

This post is long overdue.

When Dada Joel revived my blog at the start of this month, he included an RSS (that’s Really Simple Syndication, for the benefit of the uninformed) feed of Pandora, an Internet radio website created by a group calling itself the Music Genome Project.

Pandora and Music Genome Project are apt names. When you enter the Pandora website, you’ll be asked to supply either the name of an artist (no, not someone who uses paint and canvas) or a song, or an album. Once you enter these and register for a free account, the site will play a tune from the artist you have chosen, the tune you have selected, or a song from the album you have just named. Whew!

Nothing is out of the ordinary here. Just another Internet radio portal. But wait, there’s more. In the background, the site is also accessing a huge database of songs, scouring it for tunes that sound similar to the one you’re playing. The site then queues this for your listening pleasure. Yup, it’s like opening Pandora’s Box … organized chaos.

I guess the rationale behind calling the project “Music Genome” is because the founders of the site want to show that all songs, like all human beings, are interrelated somehow—just like what scientists discovered when they completed the Human Genome Project last year (or was it two years ago?).

In the meantime, try it out. Check out my blog’s sidebar and look for “Listening Post.” Click on any of the five artists I have selected and sit back in wonder of mankind’s creative genius.

Pandora's Box by Arthur Rackham

Pandora’s Box, courtesy of art.com

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