April 28, 2012

“Pandora.” Like I am meant to think it’s forbidden knowledge that I can’t handle that’s going to rock my world literally. In truth it’s the same annoying rubbish I haven’t wanted to handle for half my life.


Pandora the Internet Radio is a website that finds and plays music for you based on what it perceives your interests to be.
Two years ago somebody other than myself introduced me to it and I promptly untroduced myself. While it was going on I typed a bunch of text scraps and then didn’t have the time or inclination to sort them out. I still don’t but now I have other things to do that are even less interesting. The fellow insisted Pandora was the most significant scientific achievement since the ninja turtles discovered the secret of the ooze but I clearly lacked security clearance.

Pandora Radio has no idea how quickly it won my trust by pulling up facebook information for me without asking me if I had a page there, much less waiting for me to tell it which was mine, and then somehow using this as an excuse to attack me with some whiny band that it insisted was similar to a band that I primarily “like” the page of because someone I know is in it. They are a GOOD band but I got lucky and am not looking for other “good bands.” You might say that’s the whole point of Pandora but I was holding out hope that I could locate some decent musicians who weren’t necessarily bandy.
You can turn off the facebook connection but you can’t stop it from happening the first time and you can’t have a picture on your page any other way. It has nothing to do with music but I enjoy being able to customize hostile foreign netscapes with familiar, condemnable imps.

You know what I say all the time: “I really want to listen to something with minor key tonality.” In fact everybody knows that. It’s a matter of public record. It has to be, because otherwise, that this thing knows is a tremendous breach of decency and undeniable evidence of absolutely sinister corporate collusion which way too many people that I know personally are apparently, contently, going along with.
The blurb there is consistent with my past experience that the smarter somebody tries to sound talking about music, the dumber the world gets. You can speak of being experts and know the difference between keys and time signatures but you can’t do anything to make your opinion of music any more valid than anyone else’s. My thoughts on Suprematist art didn’t change when I learned what its name was or what it was trying to accomplish (although recreating it in 3d was a good idea) and I like Gustav Klimt when he paints things that aren’t filled with shapes that resemble eyes, but I couldn’t tell somebody they were wrong to like eye shapes based on their not knowing what gesso was unless I was an irredeemable scumbag. Then, perhaps, I would have use for someone to sweetly redeem me. However, if I typed “High Flight Society” into Pandora it would just play a song by These Green Eyes that had nothing in common with it and I would go unredeemed, or possibly redempt in a manner that pertained to a different category of taste reception and THEN by gorby where would I be?

So after shunning facebook I was advised to say what I personally thought I liked, if I’m so smart.

I grant that these are hokey choices. Obviously Prophet Fukami wouldn’t be in there so I didn’t try that. Konami and Falcom put out most of the arranged/performed video game music albums that I am aware of so they seemed like the ones to start with. My taste in music is not logical and I am entitled to privately prefer hokey selections.

Yet when prompted to supply an artist that I already liked, I was turned down several times before Pandory gave up Yoko Shimomura, who gets to be in there for being one of precious few composers I like to have worked recently. Apparently she scored Kingdom Hearts, the video game, which I assume has nice enough music but unfortunately its unfortunate fan base puts the music in the “children’s” category which by the music robot’s reckoning makes it similar to The Wiggles as well as non-wiggles trying to sound wiggly, never at all mind that Yoko Shimomura is Japanese, working in video games and without using any words. Surely the game HAS an annoying word song in it somewhere to give it mass wimply appeal, but the first thing that came up was nice enough.

Afterward a half-Raffi said the same stuff about the jungle over and over again, and then Einstein played knick knack on people’s thumbs in a gesture I’m sure he was just as proud of afterward as atomic bombs. I praise children’s music the genre for daring to have songs that aren’t about the pursuit of sex (though doubtlessly if you put “he played knick-knack” in absolutely any other context somebody would think it was a hilarious masturbaty euphemism and giggle accordingly) but gosh they’re repetitive. Next there we went “loopty loo” and it was actually less musically complex than the Barney version. And then I regretted thinking that because an actual Barney song came on.

When an audio sequence comes through pandora you can indicate if you approve of it or if you don’t, or nothing at all, but like hulu’s ad disliking system, it likes to eventually return to the first thing you disliked, so confident in its own infallibility as to assume nobody would ever dislike everything it came up with unless the person was just testing the system to see what would happen and therefore not worth working to accommodate.

except for that one time I broke hulu by hating all its ads and it tried shill at me for 23 Spanish shows all at once. In frap every ad is not relevant to me because I am off the market for new television. I have two shows that I am compulsively bound to and when one of us gives up I hope it will all be over. Thankfully I don’t need to have the same policy for music because one song rarely lasts twenty-one minutes and I can listen to it without halting every aspect of my already not-very-exciting life.

And so with that in mind Pandorcus saw fit to give me a second barney song

Pandora suspected I might dispute the reasoning behind this decision and then would not allow me to leave until I thoroughly understood its lecture. it can tell me WHY it chose a song, — in fact, it likes nothing better– but I cannot tell it WHY it’s wrong or that the criteria it’s using is wrong.

What the peep is a “kid friendly vibe?” Music is not inherently malicious unless it’s created deliberately to be annoying, loud or dissonant. There are people who like listening to staticy voices and modulating frequency noises instead of conventional music, and that might not even be “unfriendly” if enough people like it that it feels better about itself. As for vibe, that means “vibration,” and a thing which creates vibrations is a vibrator, which is usually not sold to children at all. I confess I am curious how and/or why Pando has gotten around this but I’m not sure I could handle the information. I barely recovered from the knick-knack-knickerbock interlude.

The only thing that children like better than Home Depot is Sacha Baron Cohen. Naked hairy man fights also translate surprisingly well into audio form, provided you double the pitch first.
I was in a laundromat when I finally came back to this, april 20, 2012, and a flubbing home depot ad came over the radio, immediately after another ad warning me that Tyler Perry’s Madea was coming LIVE to some local venue whose name I have lamentably forgotten.

They also love free business cards.
So now every crummy top-10 fm pepsi-selling hit is also inherently identical to all video game music if it’s been on a kidz bop album.
The kidz boppiting rapper actually said “yee auhhhh” at the start of whatever that was. I imagine the professional rappists who yee auhhh are merely preparing their voices before they’re actually supposed to say stuff and whoever is supposed to edit that out never bothers to. However, this kid is saying “yee auhhhh” because he thinks it sounded good in the original and ought to be imitated. It didn’t and shouldn’t!

Through consistently disapproving of everything I eventually caused Pandy to only play minimalist xylophonic music, with no bass, harmony or percussion, and I need more than that. The second one that came up was a wordless cover of an aerosmith song. See, that’s the wrong kind of thinking. People who feel overwhelmed by voices in their lives shouldn’t have to piggy on the backs of atrocious acts like that to gain acceptance. I am not strictly avoiding words, anyhow. I am avoiding music I don’t like. As glad as I am to not hear Steven Tyler, that’s not because his presence makes the work too complex for me to comprehend.

Admidst all this Pandora kept going on and on about the music genome project like it was diplomatic immunity. It means to say oh gee sorry dude but the genome said you’d like this, so… so? Finish your sentence! I don’t excuse you because you trail off. I’m ill of you people. It’s just… I JUST. You just what? Started talking and then stopped? I don’t even… You do it all the time! And you don’t get to call me dude! Only Hulk Hogan may call me dude and he only did it once. You know why your music genome project is flawed? Clearly no, so I have to tell you: Because music doesn’t have a “genome.” There is nothing genetic about it. These people just can’t think far enough to invent a name that’s not imitating something else they heard about. There was a human genome project and one of these forklogans thought “hey let’s change the word ‘human’ to ‘music’ and then stop there.” Even the “radio” suffixed to the website’s name and end of any artist for which similar junk is sought is technologically inaccurate and silly and I want to throw pudding at it so its silliness is more evident to others.

According to the website,
On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever. but does not say who these are nor what reason exists to believe that them together comprise every possible musical preference. What ignorant self-satisfied reprobate could possibly…

No actually I don’t want to know. I’m glad they don’t tell me!

This is an even lazier running gag than

no elpse today.

we endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world.
More stupid stereotypes that appeal to corny people. How much great stuff ever came out of a garage, and how much does these days? The only people I knew who had garage bands were the children of rich people in a couple of tv shows I probably hated twenty years ago.
I don’t even know anybody who has a garage now. I also dispute the use of “new” here. There is heaps of good, old music unaccounted for. It is said by other people who think they’re clever but are actually misquoting that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. However, those who are blissfully unaware of the past are doomed instead to repeat the present in perpetuity and while less dangerous I want this sentence to end.

We require your gender information to help our targeted advertising be just as wrong about you as our music selections
Also, people pay to use this.

I really shouldn’t have, but I considered that maybe perhaps the website would have improved its method in two years, so I had it running while I rewrote and formatted that up there. I shouldn’t have because that guaranteed I would have more griping to do before I could leave.

Nobuo Uematsu, another video game person, did have a listing, but he’s well known (I swear) and I don’t necessarily want stuff similar to the heavy orchestral arrangements he’s apparently well known for (or that comprise the one official released album he made that is in Pandora’s box), much less what this kooky kontraption mechanically muses and daftly decrees is similar. We need to differentiate between opposing cornies. This got me more serviceable results than Yoko Shimomura but none of the synthesizery stuff that comprises a majority of what made me like Uematsy and learn his name to begin with.

I said it was a functional composition, not that I ever wanted to hear it again. Most of what came through this was really dreary. No songs about the noises cows make but I may just be difficult to please. I don’t want items that I already have but I don’t want stuff that annoys me either.

I tried entering the name of Falco, an admitted vocalist, and was presented with some unremarkable 80s-sounding tunes, like Enjoy the Silence, better known as the song about the king wandering through the wilderness. When I just hear the song I don’t have any proof that a king is singing it because he neglects to say that he’s a king (never even mind whether he can sing) or make any royal decrees and it becomes a lot less interesting, aside from the outlandish hypocrisy of this chap ordering me to enjoy the silence after he’s been moaning about words doing harm in his little world for three minutes. By the time he shuts up another song is ready to start. Dumb king. If I am going to settle for unremarkability I need to have more control over it than this. I remember the first time I heard the song on an actual radio system, rather than with the music video, and being less interested without the king. Now that I have re-examined the video even that is rather dull. He should have a more substantial beard.

Ah, given that these images are two years old, just today I went back and typed the name again. Last time they said they’d check it out. They never did! Or they did but they had returned it already before I came back.

“Genre stations.” I hate genres. When somebody asks me “what kind” of music I listen to, I hope that they do not specify “willingly” because I have no answer. I don’t like music by its kind. I like it because it has interesting tunes and minimally oppressive voices, if any. When I tell people I like video game music they immediately change the subject if they don’t give up right there. I suspect they interpret it to mean I have unsophisticated tastes and that I merely haven’t been “exposed” to good or “real” music that by some chance happens to be exactly what they listen to, which by another chance happens to be exactly what I’m deliberately avoiding because I know I hate it. I realize that now. During my pandora trial I still maintained hope that there was a possibility of me being able to enjoy anything but silence when in the company of others (including kings who advocate the opposite). And in truth that even is not so very bad. I wish I could go shopping without Jason Mraz fedora-ing up my earlobes or share a car with someone who was actually open to having a conversation. We just need obnoxious voicy noise that we can’t respond to coming at us at all times because otherwise we risk having a thought. I see people sitling motionless in waiting rooms, on benches, on buses, going for leisurely walks, or simply standing around, inside or out[side], always with their goldfarbed earphones in and activated loud enough that I can discern the noise’s nature. We are terrified of the absence of noise. I should feel fortunate that I desire so little of it.

In closing, I cannot be pleased and it is futile to try.

No actually I like some musical theatre and I already feel boring.

Historically this has been the best ending I have been capable of writing.

5 Responses
  1. 1
    4:14 am, April 29, 2012

    Dr. Shoeblade sez:

    The Wiggles and other Wiggle-like persons, you say? Clearly this robot knows you better than you give it credit for.

    The business about ortomatically funneling data from one’s CountenanceTome account without even bothering to ask for permission foist is rather a bit distressing, though. Not only do I imagine we’re far from the only two individuals to populate said informational bank with rubbish and lies, but I imagine even those who choose to place accurate information there many not wish muddle-minded metal men to have the ability to access it willy-nilly.

    Personalized advertising in general is really one of those things which marketing executives insist works to the public’s advantage, but which most real people actually find sort of creepy and invasive, though. Thus I doubt the fundamental wisdom of trying to apply such to a system which people are intended to not entirely hate. It furthermore strikes me as outright hubristic to so firmly predefine what criterions (e.g. that which gends) your system decides to be crucial in determining where one’s interest ought to lie, and not allowing the user any input into whether or not these factors are taken into account nor how they are weighted. There always seems to be a certain implication of “we know you better than you do”, often extending to the point of not even allowing one to properly disable their daft shooting-in-the-dark sorting algorithms. Such silly people.

  2. 2
    3:06 pm, April 29, 2012

    PurpleSpace sez:

    Clearly they are using the music genome project to create their own musically inclined super-soldiers that all have reptilian code names.

    In the past I answered once that I liked video game music, and the response was mockingly, “Oh you mean like beeps and boops like the mario song?” However, everyone recognizes the mario theme song and I doubt people have even heard of whatever “hip edgy and indie” type music to which they aspire to listen.

    Actually, I hate the word indie to describe things like music and games and I wish they would stop using it because it always makes me think of the country India, and I know that isn’t actually what they mean.

  3. 3
    3:15 pm, April 29, 2012

    Uniform continuity sez:

    Your rants never cease to entertain. Sorry you didn’t have a good experience! I knew Pandora was crazy but I never knew it was capable of this level of malice.

    For me, Pandora can be horrible or amazing or mediocre depending on some unknown variable. But I’ve found some very intriguing songs and bands through it.

    It’s something of a science to figure out just how to get the best output of songs – what do you seed, what do you thumbsup, etc. And just when I think I’ve figured it out, it changes on me. I have about 15 stations so that helps somewhat.

    (And bonus points for Blazing Dragons. I don’t know of any other game which features taur-shaped creatures, or dares to. Cutting. Edge.)

  4. 4
    8:44 am, April 30, 2012

    Ehhhward Whoson sez:

    This isn’t the first time I see a report of Pandora that stops me from regretting that I cannot use it, but it’s the first time I see one that actually INTENDS to stop me from regretting. The Pandora project is variably «not yet available in your country» or «has been made unavailable in your country» or «aliens ate my babysitter so you cannot access Pandora in your country» as well as various other excuses, but really this was mostly me attempting to be polite and giving it a chance and it being—not unlike the hobo who refuses your ten dollar bill out of some sort of completely misguided pride. However, the desire to have a look at this Pandora was mostly precipitated by curiosity—furthermore, the more you’re denied access, the more curious you tend to grow—and at one point I did in fact manage to get as far as to BROWSE the musical selection (but not listen, of course) which is a feat I’m yet to figure out how to replicate. Not that I would.

    For all intents and purposes it was dumb luck. I experienced a similar service (?) to what you are describing and had serious doubts of my own that Tangerine Dream can necessarily precipitate Jean Michel Jarre and vice-versa. In the end it strikes me that it chooses music not by its «genes» (if music could at all be said to encompass such) but rather by what people tend to click their way on to after the end of any given exertion, thus linking taste-wise—à la what the dreaded Last.fm does.

    Of course last but not least to confirm your implication that their selection is limited. It is! They have many artists, but … not enough important ones. Or rather, the proportion of important-to-unimportant artists leaves much to be desired (importance being determined from their services to music vs. their services to money)—and when they do appear, the selection of material available is rather meager; I would never, for instance, have imagined that Magma could ever appear on a site WITHOUT A SINGLE MENTION of Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh or Köhntarkösz. … And what I meant to say by this is that essential (arguably) material of certain bands is utterly ignored.

    In the end to use Pandora to its fullest you have to be a hipster in one way, and if you can’t use it, you end up being a hipster in a different way. Either way Pandora leaves you feeling like a dirty hipster, and that is a feeling that is anything but necessary for continued existence; finding out about Pandora is like opening the proverbial Pandora’s box, like the Esquimaux learning of the existence of religious concepts and thus purportedly being condemned to hell for it—Pandora is something I’d rather not have known about in the first place.

  5. 5
    1:43 am, November 5, 2016

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    Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my weblog thus i came to “return the choose”.I am trying to find things to enhance my web site!I guess its good enough to use some of your ideas!!

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