Dec 20

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

MSN Radio Contracts with Pandora; They Had Previously Acquired MongoMusic


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.

tags: web 2.0  | comments: 3   | Sphere It

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Comments: 3

  scott evans [12.20.06 09:35 PM]

Nice. The Pandora guys are very smart cookies.

And the UI might be Flash, but it was written using OpenLaszlo! See Tom Conrad's glowing blog entry for some details.

(disclaimer: I work at Laszlo Systems.)

  Julian Bond [12.21.06 12:17 AM]

There's an (ex)insiders article to be written here about the different approaches to custom radios and song matching between Mongo, Pandora and Last.FM. The thing I like about Last.FM is the community. I think Pandora does a better job of a custom radio, but I haven't seen any community side to it.

How do you avoid the problem that in music explorer software, all roads lead to Radiohead?

  Julian Bond [12.21.06 12:18 AM]

Note here that Pandora is US only. You can use it from outside the USA but only if you can fake a US zipcode. Grrrrrr! I'm sick to death of web based applications that assume USA.

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