Why I Love Pandora

by Jim Walczak


Sit back, slide the headphones on and crank up the tunes! I’ve always considered myself a bit eclectic when it comes to music.

For me, it doesn’t really matter which genre. You might catch me listening to Rap, Reggae, Rock, Blues, or Bluegrass, it doesn’t really matter to me. Or even Contemporary Gospel, Soul or Folk. It just depends on my mood.

Maybe it has something to do with my mother weaning me on Merle Haggard and George Jones, or my dad and his brothers giving me 45RPMs (those are little vinyl discs that sit on a turn table kids) of Elvis, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Tom Jones.

Growing up in the late 60’s and 70’s, I added the Beatles, James Taylor, The Imperials, Alabama and yes, even Donna Summer.

What Is Pandora?

It’s no secret that this generation will enjoy our (that’s right – I said our…) music a little differently and have the opportunity to be exposed to thousands more songs and artists that just a few years ago.

Well, the next generation of music listening is sweeping the Internet. Sell your MP3 player and satellite radio? Well, not yet!

Pandora has been out for about 6 months and I’m still trying to figure out how I missed the launch of this great new product. Huey Lewis sang about finding his new drug… Pandora is mine.

This innovative free music service is called Pandora. According to their FAQ, the name Pandora means “all gifted” in Greek. In ancient Greek mythology, Pandora received many gifts from the gods, including the gift of music, from Apollo. She was also, as we all know, very curious. Unlike those gods of old, however, we celebrate that virtue and have made it our mission to reward the musically curious among us with a never-ending experience of music discovery.

Rewarding the musically curious is what Pandora does well. Simply choose your favorite artist or song, sit back and listen to streaming radio that you create as you go along by voting thumbs up or thumbs down.

The real unique aspect is that the music you hear crosses genres and stereotypical notions by playing songs from “mainstream” artists to little-known independents that have a similar sound and feel as the radio station that you originally set up.

So sit back, listen and enjoy some of the 400,000 tunes from 20,000 artists. You’ll be reminded of songs and artists you’ve forgotten about and be introduced to some new ones that will remarkably appeal to your love of style and sound from the original.

UPDATE: Getting To Know Pandora’s Founder, Tim Westergren, Here In Nashville