Friday, August 24, 2007

Station Reviews: Two for t-mobile and One for BlackBerry

@Home Radio* (click to play) This station offers recent light rock from four artist seeds and one song seed. Both of these stations created for t-mobile feature a few thumbs-up and, remarkably, a few thumbs-down. It's rare to see any thumbs-down on a promotional station. The few of us who used to talk about such matters over at Pandora Stations conjectured that the station builders do not want to give the impression that their client dislike a particular artist. To me the presence of thumbs-up and down just mean that someone actually spent a little time listening to the station. In this case they probably did not listen long (3 up, 2 down), but, at least they listened which makes the development of this station better than most promotional stations.

As for the results, the station is mostly harmless. I must say, however, I am happy to be listening to a nice cover of Cat Steven's "Trouble" by Elliott Smith while I write this review. I'd say the station is one of the better promotional stations, though it still doesn't come close to being is good as an average station built by a Pandora fan who has learned the value of providing feedback.

On-The-Go Radio (click to play) This station puts out danceable Electronica from three artist seeds and four song seeds. As mentioned above, the station has had at least a minor amount of development featuring one thumb up and three thumbs down. The station is reasonably energetic, but I find this side of the genre repetitive, almost wholly unmelodic, and the rhythm tracks, in particular, predictable and annoying.

BlackBerry presents John Mayer Radio* (click to play) You can create the exact same station by clicking on "Create a New Station" and typing in John Mayer. The people in charge of creating stations for ads do this occasionally, and I completely fail to see the point. (Yes, John, it does piss me off - the station is playing Mayer's "Back to You (Live 2003)") I know that the advertisers want to associate themselves with particular artists, but from the point of view of a Pandora listener, these simple stations with no development what-so-ever add no value at all to the Pandora experience. Why would I want to click through to hear a station I could make for myself in an instant? That being said, I am listening to another nice cover on this station: Jeffery Gaines is doing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes".

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