When it comes to music we have a bad habit of finding one or two artists we really like and listening to them with mind-numbing repetition.  Pandora, billed as “radio from the music genome project”, gets us out of our self-imposed musical ruts.

In 2000, three folks started the Music Genome Project “to capture music at the fundamental level”. The idea was that any given song could be broken down to musical attributes much as our own bodies can be broken down to their DNA.

So for instance when we requested U2, Pandora plays U2 and other songs that feature “electric rock instrumentation, subtle use of a vocal counterpoint, subtle use of vocal harmony and demanding instrumental part writing.” Pandora plays songs that share similar characteristics to the artists we requested.

It’s a really cool concept — applying scientific classification concepts to something as subjective as musical tastes.  But it works…and works really well.

Best part?  It’s totally free.

Why we host a conference just to help our competitors