Just a quick note to point at that Neil Gaiman is right
is addictive and really cool. It's like getting a personalized streaming radio station, wherever you are on the net.
It uses Flash to give you a streaming music player that plays (a) music you tell it you like (by artist or song title) and (b) music it thinks you'll like based on what you've told it you like. As far as I can tell, it uses musicological attributes rather than Amazon-style "others who like that also like this...", though there may be some of the latter going on as well. I think it may also try to play similar songs from different bands together.
Unfortunately, quite a few of my favorite bands are indie bands that aren't in their database, but I've also been surprised at some of the more obscure stuff that is in there, including Manda & the Marbles, Scrawl, and The Eyeliners. It's also interesting that it figured out that I'd like Dire Straits before I told it so.
It would be nice if I could specify albums rather than songs or artists. In some cases I like certain albums but dislike others. Though I can pick representative songs (or all of them) from the favored albums.
If you don't like something, you can skip it. If you skip a band twice it won't play that band again.
Apparently I'll soon start hearing ads in the stream, which will gradually increase in frequency until I decide to pay for a subscription. Sounds fair to me.
It's amusing that a favorite author is not only leading me to new written work, but also new music and new ways of getting my music.http://www.pandora.com/Update:
According to Pandora, I seem to be rather consistent about liking music with vocal harmonies and mild rhythmic syncopation -- as well as, quite often, major key tonality and mixed acoustic/electic instrumentation. Just about every time I ask it why it chose a song, it tells me those (with varying levels of vocal harmonies), along with some other attributes. And the more I listen and look at those attributes, the more I think it's trying to keep similar songs together.