I read this morning that MSN Radio (a part of MSN Entertainment) is now contracting Pandora to power its radio. Pandora is an amazing service that will create a custom station based on a song or artist that you enter. The service has a slick Flash UI and does a very good job of playing music in a style similar to the one you entered. Pandora uses the human-powered Music Genome Project to power its song matching. You can also share these stations with friends. I was especially pleased to find out that I can use the service with Firefox on my Mac.
I joined Microsoft when they acquired MongoMusic (see the news archives) and we became MSN Music (a part of MSN Entertainment) — just to be clear I left MS for O’Reilly earlier this year. MongoMusic was an amazing service that created custom stations for you based on the song or artist (or other inputs) that you entered. The service was powered by “”groovers” who listen to songs and enter characteristics such as genre and tempo into the company’s searchable database” (from CNet article). It had a functional, but not very slick HTML pop-up interface. MongoMusic did a very good job of playing music in a style similar to the one you entered.
I guess the little start-up that I was a part of was just ahead of its time.