This post isn't technically related to reading or crafting, but it is about something that I enjoy while reading AND crafting. It is something that has made me happy numerous times over the past months. Something that is fun for all ages. Something that is FREE!
What is this wonderful something? My friends, I'll tell you.
The wonderful thing is: http://www.pandora.com/
If you haven't yet heard of Pandora, go there and bookmark the site immediately. I'll wait.
All done? Good. You'll thank me later.
Pandora is an internet radio service based off of the Music Genome Project. In human language, that means that a bunch of smartypantses studied hundreds and thousands of songs and catergorized them according to 40 plus musical characteristics, like tempo, genre, instrumentations, etc. All that music went into a database, and now we have Pandora.
When you go to the Pandora website, you can choose to listen to one of their premade internet stations. Click on a genre (Let's say: Holiday), then a category (Swingin' Christmas). After a brief commercial, you are given a music station that plays free music right out of your computer. You can even skip ahead, if you don't like the song they are currently playing; or pause it if you need to use the bathroom and don't want to miss any of Old Blue Eyes.
The other EVEN-COOLER feature of Pandora is the ability to make your own internet stations. Click on the "Create a New Station" button towards the top left corner of the screen. Then, enter in your favorite song or the name of an artist you have always been meaning to listen to. It's up to you. Pandora then makes a station for you (using the smartypantses Genome research) of music that is similar to the song or artist you requested.
For example, I put in the name of one of my favorite bands, Keane. Pandora made me a Keane Station, which will be there everytime I log in. It pulled up some songs by Keane, and some songs by other artists the Music Genome Project determined were like Keane. Some of those bands happen to be favorites of mine: Coldplay and Death Cab for Cutie; and others were ones I had been meaning to try out like Snow Patrol. You can even make a variety of stations, and then make a Quick Mix which will shuffle which station you get to listen to for more variety.
We have been listening to the Classical Christmas station around the clock at the Mad in Crafts house. So many beautiful choirs! When the hubster isn't around, I listen to Swingin' Christmas and dance around like I'm in a Dean Martin Holiday Special.
The only downside that I can see is that right now, Pandora is only available for those of us in the States. I don't know if they have plans to make Pandora international, but I sure hope they do.
Have you discovered the joy that is Pandora? What's your favorite station to listen to?