Some days Pandora is the only thing that gets me through work, which is why I get extremely upset when my stations go haywire on me. Some days they play all day without a hitch, but then some days, like today, my Daft Punk station starts playing hardcore rap, and then when I try to correct it with a simple down-thumb, it shifts into mellow jazz music. I lost a half hour of productivity trying to wrestle my station back into some semblance of quality-techno order, but it will never really be the same.
I’ve heard many acquaintances mutter similar complaints about this otherwise-excellent streaming music player, and I have what I think is an interesting idea for helping with this. I think part of the problem is those up/down selections are very imprecise. So I “like” this song. What does that really mean? Well I know what it means to me, but what does it mean to Pandora? Imagine if users could not only say whether or not they liked the song, but exactly what about it they liked or disliked. I obviously don’t know how Pandora’s classification scheme works, but it seems things like “artist’s voice,” “tempo,” or even something simpler, like “genre,” would allow much more precise station definitions. And, more importantly, stop P.Diddy from showing up in my Daft Punk stream.