Today (4 May 2007) at 13:15 the music died! The last track played out and finished on the Pandora player and it stopped streaming music to my browser. I knew what had happened. I refreshed the page, and I was locked out, simple.
Pandora, if you have not heard of it, was created out of the music genome project. It’s internet radio with a big difference, it takes songs and works out how they they are constructed and why they work and relates them to like songs. Basically you can program Pandora with all the songs and artists you like and it will play similar artists. This is ideal for expanding your musical horizons into new and sometimes older music. Sadly however for non-US based users of this service it is no more. About 36 hours before the cut off an email letter was sent to all the non-US based users (they sniffed the IP addresses).
The introduction of the email goes:
We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for most listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.
The bandwidth costs I can understand, and frankly I would have gladly paid for this service, it was that good. But it seems again the man in the shadows, the lawyers and the licencing have killed off another good thing. All this does is make honest people seek out what they want via other means.
Okay from day one the service was intended for US only. But I ask you how many other services are meant to be US only and yet they are used by the rest of the western internet community.
Sure their are similar services, but they where aren’t as good as Pandora was. I also wonder what other service/web startup is going to be cancelled for anyone outside of the US. For the record I could get around the IP sniffing, but then I also disrupt my entire business setup.
But now no one wins with this. I miss the variation in music, the artists miss my support. I wasn’t even able to access my bookmarked artists or songs, so unless I recall the tunes and artists in question I’m likely to not purse purchasing their CDs. Which is a shame.
Loosing Pandora is like loosing a muse, I constantly use music in general as a mood setter and inspiration for design. It just helps me work. It helps with creativity. I’m not often away from my music.
I’m going to miss Pandora, RIP.
(Update – Bloggy Hell has a suggestion for connectivity)