On Company Time #1: Pandora.com
Welcome to On Company Time, MP's weekly guide to frivilous things you can do on the Information Superhighway when you're supposed to be working. Our own Josh Dobbs is much more qualified to sniff out such opportunities, but as the Man is keeping him busy this week, I'll get the little rainbow beach ball loading... er, rolling.
A caveat: much like Friendster, MySpace and Montreal Shows, visiting these sites during your unwaged hours is unspeakably lame. Midnight Poutine is the very notable exception to this rule--you should spend at least one hour of personal time per day reading MP and posting snarky comments.
Pandora was discovered by a co-worker, and has proven to be an addictive little program. Created by the techs and music nerds who are working on the ambitious Music Genome Project, it takes a song or artist you provide and creates a "station" of related songs that you might like to listen to.
It's pretty comprehensive: since it's creation in 2000, the Genome Project has analyzed over 10,000 artists for individual attributes including melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation and lyrics. The results aren't always accurate, but that's part of the fun--you can give feedback if you think that the Killers and Wolf Parade don't belong on the same station.
So, if I suggest Dark Funeral, it starts playing "King Antichrist," then launches into "Questionable Ethics" by Dismember, "Raze" by Exodus, and so on... and before I know it, it's quittin' time!
The only pain in the ass is, you have to register after your first few tries. But suck it up, 'cause this project has some serious potential.