Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sasquatch, Loch Ness Monster, Perfect Pandora Station - Do They Exist?

We could spend hours upon hours discussing cryptozoology, which actually would be awesome, but today's blurry picture to bring into focus can be found a lot easier than most of these mythical beasts.

Pandora.  We all use it.  Some prefer their iHeart radio, or Spotify, sure, but when you think of internet radio, you think of Pandora.

Every day I listen to Pandora at work. It just makes more sense over downloading Spotify or adding/removing music from my phone.  Every day I am starting new stations, liking and disliking different songs, adding different artists for variety; but for what?

To do the impossible: create the perfect Pandora playlist.

It is without a doubt one of the most arduous processes known to man, right behind what my brothers-in-arms do over at Animal Planet, but its something that can be done, right?  Let's take a look.

The biggest question right off the bat is, "well, doesn't everyone have different musical interests?" Its a totally fair question, but no one asked you.  The quest for this station is a quest to find yourself. You may also like O.A.R. and Icona Pop, but it doesn't mean I like that guy who sings "Grenade" and "The Lazy Song" any more than you like Sara Bareilles.  One man's trash could be another man's Perfect Pandora Station...

"But music is subjective to your mood." Correct, music is very much a mood thing, but for this exercise you have to just go at it with the mindset of, "I can only have one station for the rest of my life."  But that being said, everyone knows there are some songs that when you hear them, nothing else matters, and you just jam out for a few.  So maybe there is a station perfectly capable of being either mood-resistant or mood-changing, right?

I have made several attempts at the PPS. The closest I have come is when I chose to not like a single song on the artist Fastball's radio station, but if I heard "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis one more time...  Then there was the strategic liking of songs starting off of "Yellow Ledbetter" by Pearl Jam.  Pearl Jam into Lynyrd Skynyrd into Bob Seger into Foo Fighters into... Tool? Deftones? Looks like we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque. No thanks.

Dave Matthews Band mixed with Darius Rucker radio was my life for a good three months, but soon, I had liked and disliked too many songs, and things were getting repetitive and I had to move on. Sting radio got weird.  I liked it, but it got weird.

I decided to Google my issue and see if anyone else was attempting this feat, and it turns out, yeah, a ton of people are. posted an article titled "How to Create the Perfect Pandora Station," but in the article, they are very quick to drop the word perfect for words like ideal or perfectly customized. Okay, so not actually perfect, then.  Cool.

This e-How article is just insulting to someone who has done any research on the PPS.

Through my dozens and dozens of attempts, I have yet to find a station where I don't skip or dislike a song in the first 15 played.  And if a station has been good enough to make it to the second day, as many have, I can't say that I have found one worthy of being my Perfect Pandora Station.  But that's just me.

I want the PPS to be real, just like I want to see that episode of "Finding Bigfoot" when they finally find Bigfoot (it's gonna happen).  But it just seems so unlikely.  Try as you might to mix Kevin Rudolf, OneRepublic, Florence and the Machine, Big D and the Kids Table and Barenaked Ladies, the end result is that you're going to end up with a station where you like every fifth song, and that's if you're lucky.

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