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Babysitting “My” Pandora

January 21, 2011

Sometime ago, DirecTV decided to subtly gouge their paying customers by replacing Sirius XM with Sonic (please see my prior blog).  (Perhaps DirecTV thought that their audience would not notice the switch?!)  I truly did try to enjoy Sonic – after all, Sonic did muster a half-ass attempt to appease the listening audience …  However, I eventually got to the point that I could not stand Sonic’s lack of quality of the sound, not to mention Sonic’s lame selections. 

After listening to the “free” Pandora for months, I decided to take the plunge and I not only purchased the “upgrade,” but I also purchased a Livio – Pandora internet radio (this will be a separate future blog post). 

Within my Pandora account, I have established several stations.  I have also listed to their genre stations – Pandora’s Classic Rock is actually very good.  One of my “stations” I have titled “My Smooth Jazz.”  “Seeded Songs” include Paul Hardcastle, Jackiem Joyner, Chris Botti, Euge Groove, Joyce Cooling, Paul Taylor, Camiel, Rick Braun, Earl Klugh, Kirk Whalum, Chris Standring, Philippe Saisse, Eliane Elias, NILS, Richard Elliot, Marion Meadows, etc.  A fairly “solid” collection of smooth jazz musicians.  (Music Genome Project – are you reading this???) 

“Thumbs Up” choices for this station include any artist listed above, plus new ones introduced by Pandora – thank you, Pandora, for SOMETIMES correctly expanding my selections – which now include “Sophia” by Incendio Noche, “Coffee Break” by Billy McLaughlin, and “Latinesque” by Michael Dowdle.  And so my “My Smooth Jazz” station has now been augmented to include music of acoustic / classical guitar.  The station was designed for peaceful easy listening.

HOWEVER!  Back to the focus of this post, which is “Babysitting ‘My’ Pandora.”  Why do I state I am “babysitting my Pandora?”  Answer:  Pandora’s highly touted “Music Genome Project” has either become mentally challenged, or has crashed and burned.  I am now finding that the music playlist associated and designed by my “seeded” and “Thumbs Up” selections frequently becomes erratic, evidenced by sudden selections of music that I do not like  nor want on this particular “station.”  For example, yesterday Pandora’s music genome project decided that I wanted to hear “High Roller” by Cheap Trick, and earlier, a gospel / religious selection, both on my clearly defined “My Smooth Jazz” station.  Hey Pandora:  Who chose these selections???  It wasn’t me!  Why is non-seeded and certainly “Thumbs-Down” music entering my carefully defined station???

And so I am now, albeit somewhat neurotically, listening as close as possible to Pandora’s interpretation of what I want to hear on “My Smooth Jazz” station so I can “Thumbs Down” each and every inane selection it tries to give me.  Also, another rather comical Pandora “behavior” – after I “Thumbs Down” an unearthly terrible Pandora “selection” which in no way reflects my song “seeds” or “Thumbs Up” selections on this station (where did this song come from???  It stinks!!), Pandora then pacifies me by selecting music I had originally chosen as a “Thumbs Up.”  Figure that one out!

To summarize:  I find Pandora very temperamental in selecting music that I’ve defined over and over and over and over and over and over again.

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